I’m short, and always have been.
Physically, I stand at 5’9 (and you’ll find me in 3 inch heels most days of the week). But I’m short in the fact that I tend to make my point with less words than a lot of people do. That’s always been something I’ve felt shame in, until recently.
In school, I remember trying desperately to make a two page essay into the three page minimum that the teacher imposed. I quickly learned the beauty of margins and font size.
At work, I can recall co-workers responding to questions (that really only required a 20 word or less answer) with a 5 minute soliloquy. I’d scan the room, unsuccessfully, to see if anyone else’s BS meter was going off. Oddly, everyone else seemed to buy it.
Even at BlogGrader.com, my critique was that my blog posts are too short!
Why does the world seem to appreciate people who are longwinded? Thankfully, due to a recent Twitter exchange, I’m starting to see things a little different.
Warren Whitlock is a great blogger and author whom I follow on Twitter and he recently created a blog post on the whole “follow me, I’ll follow back” Twitter etiquette. I shared in his dislike of the protocol and tweeted him, which led to a short exchange:
@WarrenWhitlock Agree. Follow those whose perspective interests you;their mutual interest in yours should be a compliment not an expectation
@DigitalMktgGirl you said that better than all my rambling on the subject. Thank you
@warrenwhitlock Don’t give me too much credit, took 30 mins to figure out how to get that statement into 140 characters! Great article.
@DigitalMktgGirl expressing oneself succinctly is a great skill. Kudos
I didn’t tweet back, but his words really got me thinking. Is it that society appreciates people who are longwinded, or is that people aren’t very good at being succinct? Is what I’ve seen as a weakness of mine, actually a strength?
Since then, I’ve taken a close look at the world around me and this notion of being succinct. Some of the most powerful quotes in history are short and sweet — “The only thing to fear is fear itself” comes to mind. The best (and most effective) answers aren’t the ones that ramble on, they’re the ones that are to the point — a simple “yes” vs. a “yes, but….”. In general, it seems that there can be more impact in brevity. And Twitter has given all of us short people a tool which appreciates brevity to express ourselves.
So, to the teachers with the page requirements – I know grading papers isn’t easy, save yourself some work and remove those minimums.
To the longwinded co-worker – Stop with the BS.
To BlogGrader.com – I love your service (and highly recommend it to bloggers), but just give me a break.
Thank you to Twitter for letting me be me…and thanks to Warren Whitlock for allowing me to see and appreciate my strength.