Why Tweeting Only Sounds Ridiculous
For months I avoided it. I knew it was coming, after all I am a complete addict for social media, but also knew that I might not emerge before my eyes went blind from screen-itis.
I joined the now ever-present Twitter a few months ago as an experiment. I had no idea what it was, why it was, or how it was and as a matter of fact the only thing I did know is that it was becoming somewhat obnoxiously wide spread. So, in search of my own ability to stay relevant I signed up (ok you can follow thinkingpress here) and ever so slowly I started to get it.
For those of you who might have been pulling an ostrich the last few months Twitter is a single action website for sharing things with other people. No, it doesn’t do anything else, and even on that task it limits you to 140 characters. So you may be asking yourself what on earth is the point of a sharing service that doesn’t let you share anything outside of a short sentence, what is the point is what I asked and I love my point of view enough to have a blog.
I had already missed the point, of course. Twitter is the inevitable current end point of the simplification of online communication to a remarkably simple and surprisingly effective task: sharing information. Be it an article, a thought, a picture, a video or an exclaimation people tend to want to share these days. This is important because the heart of any community is in what they share and while it used to be that, for the most part, that meant sharing a socio-economic standing and a geographical location today it means sharing information, sharing a point of view, sharing knowledge.
Sure, there are still so called “brick and mortar” communities and there always will be, but a larger more complex human community is being built every day at a rate that I don’t think we realize. I share ideas, information, pictures and conversation with people I will likely never meet or never need to meet however I have become inexplicably more connected to the world around me. Yesterday for instance, on a monitoring service for twitter called Twitscoop, I found out within 3 minutes of it occuring that there had been an earthquake in Los Angeles. Not a single news outlet covered the (low magnitude) quake, however I was clearly informed of it in enough time to call my brother in said city within 6 minutes of it happening.
Human networks are only just beginning to fruitfully use the internet as a medium, and even further behind on understanding it, but we are moving toward a world that creates clear and relevant connections between people of all races, faiths and geographical locales. We are more connected than we have ever been and the impact on our world has only barely begun to rise over our collective horizon. At my age my father remembers the first computer, an enormous punch card machine with maybe a few kilobytes of memory, where do you think we’ll be in 50 years at this rate?
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