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Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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6 Responses

  1. BJ Nemeth says:

    Excellent post (as always), though I disagree with your premise about Twitter — “… social media tools reduce the length of time a thought exists.” I would argue the opposite.

    The act of writing something down (or even typing it into Twitter) *strengthens* our memories of it, whether it is a dream we woke up to, vocabulary terms for a quiz, or interesting observations along a road trip. If you write something on a sheet of paper and throw it away without ever looking at it again, your memory of it is still stronger than if you had never written it down at all. This is summed up by the motto for my preferred brand of notebooks (FieldNotesBrand.com) — “I’m not writing it down to remember it later, I’m writing it down to remember it now.”

    Before social media, many of these thoughts and memories would have faded before we ever bothered to give voice to them or even write them down. Many of our thoughts have a much *longer* shelf-life on social media than they otherwise would.

    Without Twitter or a blog, would you have bothered to record anything at all about the humorous signs on the back of the truck or the dust devils in Missouri? Or an interesting waitress in a dry city in Tennessee?

    You also wrote, “why am I so careless with my own thoughts and memories?”

    How can it be considered careless to share your thoughts with others on Twitter and strengthen your own memories in the process? Taken to the extreme, hoarding memories is probably no better than hoarding physical objects — think of the people who are so focused on videotaping an event that they forget to actually *experience* it.

    If someone else had made these statements, I would have been more willing to accept them, but you excel at writing great stories and painting vivid pictures with your words. You couldn’t be the amazing writer that you are without a healthy respect for your own thoughts and memories.

  2. KenP says:

    Sorry to disagree with BJ but thoughts on Twitter? Twitter reminds me of the half hour before the bartender makes last call. We are all so sure we are the smartest one in the place and we don’t bother much paying attention to others — lips service works.

    I have read the tweets of this Willis guy. Need a translator. Of course that’d mean being part of whatever clique is need for the savvy, in-crowd translation. In the meantime, that Otis guy hasn’t had a post for 5 weeks. Talk about dumb down, it right here.

    Most of us have trouble getting an idea across in a paragraph. Now it has been reduced to 140 characters. Otis understands Brad’s problem; its just Brad’s still thinking about last call and about thumbing out a tweet with that 2 A.M. brilliance.

    Otis, Elvis and a train of thought have left the building.

  3. BadBlood says:

    Troll police arriving at the scene…

  4. Mrs. Otis says:

    I appreciate what you guys are trying to say. However, if so much of our very limited time is being taken up by writing and/or reading 140 character “stories,” we have less time to work on pieces with real substance. Never-ending 140 character distractions might be entertaining, even informative at times, but they’re still distractions. Just saying.

  5. KenP says:

    Well said, Mrs. O. I’d expect no less from someone who producer hat knew how to direct scarce resources for best effect. Not always the most satisfactory job but highly necessary and maybe even something to be proud of six months down the line. But, watch out for the troll police. 🙂

  6. PokerLawyer says:

    *Many* people care about your stories and memories, even those shared in 140-characters. I’m one.

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