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Hello.

I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind www.thetimeofourlives.net - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Twitter: Take it...to the limit -- then leave it.



So we`re getting to hear about the death of some of our favourite rock and movie stars on Twitter now. The Eagles` Glenn Frey...hard on the heels of Bowie, Lemmy, and Alan Rickman.

Death shocks; softly sandwiched between celebrity recipe shots; whimpering pleas for lost pets in Preston; and raging rants from rail commuters, live; trackside. Every night you get that heady mix of the totally unexpected...and the old favourites, interspersed by the cyclical, triumphal glugging of Grigio -in- glass as yet another 20 parents from Inverness to Exeter make it downstairs after storytime.

It`s a glorious muddle, this Twitter thing: a non stop stream of fast, furious, catastrophically uncurated ramblings from anyone who has something to say or, quite frankly, doesn`t. Because,sometimes, even a little mild derision from a total stranger across the globe about your new shoes can be better than a night in alone with the cat. Although you know, if things ever get really bad, a selfie of you and the Mog will at least keep you in the Twitter mix.

But, for the most part,it`s frenetic.Witty. Pithy. Pacy. Mercilessly brief. 140 characters and you`re out of here. You get the breaking news. The very worst horrors, as they start to unfold; which you can choose to pursue on Twitter, or elsewhere, or ignore. And sometimes the very best news. The latest from our fabulous Tim Peake, way above us, watching us, watching him. And even in short bursts, you get mates; supporting you after a really crap day; high five-ing you for when things go well. You get poetry, from amazing guys like @JimCMackintosh, and you even get to find out if @Gary_Bainbridge has made the last bus home.

But 10,000 characters? Don`t do it, please. Yeh, maybe Wordsworth clocked that many daffodils at a glance, and maybe they were lovely. But I`d hate long messages clogging up our neat little timelines. A limit of 140 forces you to at least ATTEMPT to be succinct.  I mean...does anyone want to see those tottering, teetering, faltering, FaceBookstylee ...`I was just having a think the other day about the kind of books I used to ...`. You`ve lost me.

Listen to Glenn and the guys. Take it to the limit. Keep that limit 140. And leave it there.


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