I dreamed last night that I lived inside of Twitter. In the Twitterverse. Populated by all of us. We were all living there and it was ruled not democratically, as we might hope, not with freedom of real expression, not like the Internet we all want to believe is ours to romp and play in and collectively own. No, it was a didactic Twitterverse, ruled by a dictator, with very stringent rules. We could only speak in 140 characters and only THINK in 140 characters and if we overstepped by just one extra character, just one period or comma or even a pause to think, yes a pause to think, well, that was cause for torture.
Real torture. Not imagined torture. Not torture that happens to someone else in far away country. Not torture that you just read about as it flickers by on your screen in a stream of other thoughts delivered precisely to you in 140 character blips.
No,real torture. Both inside your mind and to your body. Without words, without characters, in deadly silence and far, far away from the seeing and witnessing eyes and hearts of all the others in the Twitterverse.
Deep burns to your flesh so the others would know even though they couldn't possibly ask. It would take too many precious characters.
Being limited to only 140 characters for expression was ridiculously impossible for me. I also bristled, openly, vociferously, at the rules. Rules, as I've always said, are made precisely to be broken. Especially the ones that are created to cause us to conform, to keep us in a box.
I created four iterations of me. I shared all of my 560 characters for thoughts and words and expression with others. Freely. I just gave them away. Letting anyone who had anything they needed to say to say it, think it, share it, express it.
Revolution was at hand. Freedom of speech. The Internet belongs to all of us. We were taking control.
The thing about revolution, though, is that while those who believe stand naked and transparent and shout as loudly as they can even with more than 140 characters just to be heard, it takes a lot of continued naked peaceful protestation to actually win.
In my dream, the Twitterverse gendarmes silenced me for my actions.
We are, collectively, far better than the 140 characters we now limit ourselves to share.
I know that we are.
Love, and you, are much, much grander and I know you have truly beautiful things to say.
No matter what it is, no matter what, use all your characters, all your words, and please keep talking.