Sep 9, 2009

is twitter good for you?

flying zanair over to zanzibar

For some rebel loud thinking, read on.

Twitter is getting big, millions of active users, mountains of tweets every day. People follow others, and are being followed themselves. The creativity of people in coming up with new and interesting usage ways seems to be endless. In some cases it offers new solutions to old problems, but in many cases it opens new horizons. And this is all pretty exciting.

I wonder though... where from do we get the time to tweet? On the scale of whole humanity (well, those who twitter actually), of what do we do less, so that we can make time for twitter?

In the rapid evolution of online social communication, 'posts' are getting shorter and shorter, blogs are so 'nineties', a lot more content gets created nowadays in the 160 character range.

According to my Google Reader, I read through an average of 55 posts a day (and those are blogs, not tweets). As we create/consume more and more, the 'short enough to read through' gets shorter and shorter.

The exciting, but somewhat terrifying prospect, when creating a new medium (mostly online these days), is that they rarely function ONLY in the ways the creator initially imagined them to. From a design perspective, lowering the boundaries for user creativity makes responsible creation a la 'cradle to cradle' a fuzzy, near impossible concept.

When launching Twitter, the creators surely dreamed about their product eventually becoming popular, with a massive user base, with a lot of time spent on the service. But did they ponder over the question of where that time will actually come from? What will fall as a consequence of the rise of Twitter? And the good and not so good effects of that on human societal evolution?

2 comments:

Jonas said...

You might've already read this article, but anyway, here goes!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/twitter/6147668/Facebook-enhances-intelligence-but-Twitter-diminishes-it-claims-psychologist.html

g. said...

Thanks Jonas for sharing, indeed a good read.

I wonder what is the overall polarity of the role Twitter plays in the great scheme of human evolution as such, and how it will be regarded (probably looked back on) in 2050 or 2100.

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