Tag Archives: picture postcards

Is Twitter just the modern version of the picture postcard?

12 Oct

The latest edition (October 2009) of Picture Postcard Monthly includes a reference to a piece in the Daily Telegraph about a study which suggests that Tweeting is just the modern equivalent of sending a picture postcard.

The study by Julia Gillen of Lancaster University and Nigel Hall of Manchester Metropolitan University highlighted some of the similarities between the postcard and tweets, such as the limited amount of space, the use of abbreviations and text speak, the speed at which the messages are delivered and the sheer volume of messages sent (calculated at around 6 billion postcards sent between 1901 and 1910).

More details can be found on the Manchester Metropolitan University website, including details of how to read some of the postcard messages that are being sent again, but this time on Twitter.

Interestingly as I was checking out the story on the Telegraph.co.uk website I noticed another story, which shows that postcards aren’t always the quickest way of sending messages. This particular postcard took forty years to reach its destination, unfortunately the intended recipients had since moved on (if not passed on).

I seldom send postcards these days (but I do collect modern ones as well as old ones) but then I have never tweeted yet either. I wonder if Twitter will still be around 100 years on, if not what will have taken its place as an instant messaging system?

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