I couldn’t think what to blog about today, so I took the lazy man’s option and asked my Twitter followers for ideas. Fellow copywriter @Mr603 had firm opinions on the matter. He replied:
@benlocker Anything that doesn’t crow about how amazing Twitter is. If I read one more of them, I’ll puke.
Okay. It might not have much to do with copywriting, but here goes.
Why Twitter Corrupts
If you’re going to be a successful copywriter, you need to have an imagination. If you’re particularly young, the odds are already stacked against you. Several years’ exposure to the Government’s ‘literacy strategy’ will have left you unable to read and convinced that those papery blocks – still available in some libraries information hubs – are called ‘texts’. The word ‘book’ will be completely unfamiliar to you.
But no matter. You can still earn a living as a copywriter if you can’t spell and don’t read. Just check a few of the cheaper copywriting websites if you don’t believe me.
Illiteracy won’t kill the copywriting profession. But a lack of imagination will. That’s why there will be no decent copywriters from the up-and-coming Twitter generation.
These are the reasons for this belief.
1) Imaginary friends. All creative people invented imaginary friends when they were younger. Fairies, monsters, vampires, tap-dancing earthworms. It didn’t matter what these fantasy chums were, as long as they were original creations. These days children can just log on to Twitter and pick up thousands of pre-packaged imaginary friends at the drop of hat. It’s stifling the creative process, so essential to good copywriting.
2) Social skills. Whilst social skills, per se, aren’t necessary for copywriting, it does help if you can pick up ideas from other people without them running out of the room screaming. Until now, the least socialised group has always comprised a certain type of scrofulous teenage boy. However, even they had a propensity for sitting in dark bedrooms, sweating grease, popping pustules and playing with 12 sided dice and little lead figures. It led them to talk to each other, and stimulated their imaginations – if only a little. Sadly members of the Twitter generation sit alone at their terminals typing tweets that read like this: “I have thrown a magic bomb at you, and the wizard Schlepza takes sucks 5 points from your strength.”
3) Bullying. The best writers spent their childhoods being bullied. I’ve no idea why this should be, but it’s true. You can’t move for memoirs by former journalists and copywriters, all packed full of stories of vicious beatings, kickings and whippings. In the future, these reminiscences will not only be very boring (“and then the evil cow tweeted ‘@camillak-h-c u fat slag I wnt 2 kill u LOL'”), but it’s hard not to conclude they will be written by very bad former copywriters.
4) No copywriter in the future will be able to write anything more than 140 characters long. This will see the demise of brochures, annual repo
Anyway, you get the point. Something tells me that the pernicious influence of Twitter has sapped my will to add a fifth point to the list. Why don’t you follow me and add your own corrupting influence to the list?