Conor Culloton, Assistant Account Executive

Brevity is key. It is said that Hemingway once wrote a six-word short story. I wonder how he would feel of the latest trends in media consumption. When he was alive all he had to work with was a typewriter and his work was sent through a publisher or an editor, depending on how it was being packaged. Much like Hemingway and his contemporaries broke with previous literary tradition, we are currently doing the same in exciting if not abrupt ways.

A few years ago, the formats of writing and other media on the Internet were not unlike they are offline- blogs, Facebook posts, Wikipedia and YouTube clips all had comfortable analogs with magazines, newspapers, books, and television. Suddenly, a trend emerged in modern media: brevity. For example, what is Instagram but a Facebook that has stripped down everything but photos and comments? What is Twitter but a 140-character blog? The latest variation on the theme of paring down media is Vine, an application that allows users to create and share looped 7-second videos. What is Vine but a concise YouTube?

For all of the heat that contemporary media formats catch for lowering the collective IQ of a generation, anyone who has ever suffered through reading and watching amateur attempts at expressing ideas via blogs, Facebook, YouTube, or any otherwise turgid writing is thankful for this trend toward the concise. I know that I am. And I’d be willing to bet that if Hemingway were alive today he’d be tweeting six-word short stories on his iPhone because as Shakespeare said, brevity is the soul of wit. All you need is six words.