Things You Can Now Tweet About UMass With 280 Characters

If you’ve been on the internet at all within the last week or so, you're probably well aware that Twitter is test running a new feature that will extend tweets from 140 characters to 280. It's part of an attempt by Twitter to motivate users to tweet more often. As of right now, only randomly selected users have the ability to tweet in 280 characters.

Many users have expressed concern that the longer tweets will be too much. 280 characters may not seem like a lot, but compared to what we're normally used to seeing on Twitter, it ends up being a very large difference. Critics argue that tweets may no longer be specific, and that users will include unnecessary details in their tweets that nobody wants to read.

One of the first things that people took note of was that they would no longer have to commit grammatical crimes to fit their ideas into a 140-character tweet. Everyone has been in the position of typing up a quality tweet, only to find that it's a handful of characters over the limit. In that case, you must abbreviate or take out punctuation to get your idea to fit, and then you look like you never learned proper English grammar.

So what would 280 characters look like for UMass students? I thought I would take this opportunity to test-tweet some parts of my day that I never had the ability to post before.  

“Why is the line at Blue Wall always so slow? I really just want my buffalo chicken ciabatta from Deli Delish. They take so long, I could have walked to Southwest Residential Area and back by now. #IHavePlacesToBe”

“I am so sick of UMass being so windy. Every single day I am walking past Du Bois, trying to get to Orgo on time, when I almost get taken out by the wind. It’s bad enough that I constantly have to be on the lookout for bikers and skateboarders, enough is enough.”

“I go to every single tailgate with my friends, but I’ve never actually been to one of the football games. I actually don’t know anyone that has. I feel bad, but I would be much more willing to sit outside for the game if we actually scored.”

“Always add at least 7 minutes to your commute time. Earlier, I was in a hurry to get home, and the PVTA bus was 13 MINUTES late. The buses literally run on a 15-minute schedule, as this 30 was leaving the bus stop, the next one was about to get there as well. #ShouldHaveWalked”

The verdict?

I'm definitely not used to having so many characters to tweet with, and it obviously shows in how detailed (and grammatically correct) my tweets are. It makes them seem unnecessary and dramatic. All these extra characters just seem ... over the top. This change will take some time to get used to, but I'm interested to see how it plays out and how Twitter users take advantage of it.

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