The thing that I enjoyed most about this project was the fact that it was short, simple, and to the point. I feel like a lot of essay that I wrote throughout my college career could have been done in 140 characters, but instead I was forced to write ten pages on the topic. Then as I was writing the pages, it was losing meaning because I kept repeating the same thing over and over again. Also, I believe that having such a short phrase to express something is just as powerful as writing a paper because it will make the reader more focused on the topic and allow them to interpret it themselves.
This assignment–and class in general so far–has made me realize that liking objects does not always have to do with materialism. I used to think that anyone who was obsessed with objects was very materialistic; however, as I was doing this project, I came to realize that objects are a part if who we are; they are the things that are important in our lives. Just because a person values a certain ring, necklace, or purse doesn’t mean that they are materialistic; instead, it means that they may have some certain memory attached to the object that brings them joy. To me, my guitar and my travel journals are the most important objects in my life. Does this mean that I am obsessed with them and they control my life? No. It just means that I have memories and experiences with them that bring me joy when I see them.
So as I was doing this assignment, I wanted to focus more on the sentimental and cultural aspects rather than the material aspects of objects. My goal was to express the fact that we all value objects and what we value says a little bit–not everything–about who we are. They tell a story about our personality, history, and what we deem important. Moreover, I wanted to show the beauty that come from objects as they become part of who we are and bring meaning to our lives.
What I learned while doing this assignment is how to use multiple modes when trying to express a certain message. As I said above, there are many times when I write papers where I believe that I can express what I want to say in 140 characters rather than ten pages. So with my tweets, I wanted them to have deep meanings and also make people think about what they are reading. I wanted them to have a power impact that would make the reader reflect on what I was saying and allow them to come up with their own interpretation–similar to the goal of a poem. As I was preparing for this assignment, I took the materialist aspect out of the equation and tried to focus on what objects personally mean to me and how I view my most important possessions. As I was creating the tweets, I avoided unnecessary words and used a thesaurus to figure out which words would have the most effect when reading.
For my first tweet I put a picture of an old-looking journal to express that objects hold memories just as a journal does. All of the words in the tweet are expressing that objects are a reflection of ourselves and our history, just like a journal is as it is written down memories of experiences. The picture was supposed to add a visual to conform the idea that objects are our memories and tell a story just as our objects do. Using these two modes allowed them to support each other, while still leaving room for the reader for their own interpretation.
For my second tweet, I benefited from the in-class peer review and used the advise to try to add more meaning to my tweet. I tried to show the evolution of how an objects brings meaning to a person or culture. I began with the phrase “people create objects” and then used an arrow because it became understood that the arrow would be in place of the word “create.” I added a bunch of other things that are “created” out of objects and then stated “culture creates beauty” to symbolize that objects create culture and culture creates beauty. It was as if it was an evolution of the effects that begin with objects. First, people create the objects, but as the interpretation of the object evolves, the objects end up “creating” the people. Below the tweet I incorporated a picture of a parade with many objects that are creating a culture. I think that the tweet speaks for itself and provides a power definition of what an object creates. Between the two tweets, I think that my second one provided a more powerful message of what objects teach us about ourselves through an example.
Overall, this assignment made me realize that a message is powerful–maybe even more powerful–when it is short compared to being long. The shortness of the message leaves room for interpretation to the reader. Using multiple modes allows the reader to come up with a conclusion that may not be as obvious when using words.