Twitter and telegrams have a couple of things in common: they both contain short messages, and they are both sent over long distances. And that's where any similarity ends. Telegrams were expensive, and you paid by the letter. To send a telegram, you had to go down to the telegraph office, which took time and planning, and wasn't done all that often. So telegrams contained important information, carefully worded to be short but clear. Twitter is used constantly from the comfort of wherever you are, and you can say as much as you want, as long as it's only 140 characters at a time.
Artist Charles Gute took tweets and presented them as vintage Western Union telegrams in a series called Random Tweets Reformatted as Telegrams, which highlights the differences in the two short-form communication media in a delightfully absurd way. See more of them at the Catherine Clark Gallery. Link -via Nag on the Lake