These works on paper suggest a speculative overlap between two disparate periods in the history of social media: the 21st-century advent of Twitter, and the 19th- and 20th-century era of the telegram. Although the two technologies were never concurrent (the last Western Union Telegram was sent on January 27, 2006, only weeks before the very first tweet on March 21), there are notable similarities between formats, such as the economy of words and syntax imposed by a limited number of characters. Where the two messaging systems differ fundamentally is in the fact that telegrams were expensive and required a massive physical infrastructure for delivery, whereas Twitter is so easy and ubiquitous that users typically broadcast their most banal activities and passing thoughts.