26 September 2009

Why are there so many quotations on Twitter?

This is a genuine question that's perplexed me since joining Twitter a few months ago - and it's one to which I really would like to hear some answers .

Admittedly, I do tend to follow (and am followed by) others with an interest in public speaking and communication, and that no doubt has something to do with the daily dose of quotations that pops up on TweetDeck (see below for 10 latest examples).

I also think that quotations can play a useful part in speeches and presentations. I've written a bit about them and have included quite a lot of them in some of my books.

But if I'm looking for one, there are plenty of dictionaries of quotations on my bookshelves and plenty of dedicated quotation websites online.

So, if I could see any point in it, I could tweet quotations at people all day long.

My question, therefore, is a simple one that's addressed to all of you who send quotations winging in my (and who knows how many other people's) direction:

Why do you do it?

Is it intended as aid to my sluggish imagination, to make me think, to amuse me, to inspire me to pull my socks up - or what?

10 latest quotations to reach me from Twitter:
  • The greatest mistake you can make in this life is to be continually fearing you will make one.
  • Recognition not given where deserved is a form of theft.
  • There are no secrets better kept than the secrets that everybody guesses.
  • Authentic praise inspires. Disingenuous praise patronizes.
  • The minute you stop learning is the moment you stop leading.
  • Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
  • Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
  • A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
  • You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
  • Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day
P.S. The problem's getting so serious that, whilst writing this, three more have appeared:
  • An unused life is an early death.
  • The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.
  • The world stands aside to let anyone pass who knows where he is going.


Tony said...

I love quotations. I use it in my speeches and presentations. I make sure I read quotations every day. They lift me up and touch my spirit. In the same way that I enjoy quotations shared on Twitter, I enjoy sharing them.

I guess I can also ask the question "Why are there so many links on Twitter?" I see links that take me to useless blogs and web pages that don't add value to me.

It's the price we pay for being on social media. We get stuff that we like and don't like.

Lech said...

It's nice you pointed that out, as it sure seems specific for Twitter (or perhaps all 140 chars' services). I don't see the point in discussions on Twitter. The context is hard to find, the amount of people involved makes it difficult to follow. Some do. But from time to time I have a quote, a reflection I want to jot down for myself, and perhaps others will find it inspiring. Just as in the case of links (see above). For me it's actually more handy than a notebook.



dreamingspire said...

Its natural, when experiencing or thinking about something, to also bring to mind a quotation. Generally it puts a point much better than I can, and is a phrase uttered by someone with more gravitas than I have.
But spreading it about on Twitter I regards as pretentious, so I don't tweet.

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