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Twitter: The Soundbyte Nation

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posted on May, 18 2009 @ 09:58 AM
1. - To utter a succession of light chirping or tremulous sounds; chirrup.
2. - a. To speak rapidly and in a tremulous manner: twittering over office gossip.
b. To giggle nervously; titter.
3. To tremble with nervous agitation or excitement.

Apparently it is a phenonema, a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real-time, but is this a barometer reading of the state of predominantly Western society or a driver for change in the communication market?

Is the niche that it fills realised as a craving for such a utility by the people that use it? Did the millions that have sign up release a collective "Phewwww!" when they realised that they could now report their every move to the WWW or have they been herded to use it by clever propaganda and marketing, ensuring compliance in the process of pressing the button for another foot pellet.

In some ways it smacks of an OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and perhaps this explains why it is so successful. Do users feel compelled to voluntarily perform irrational, time-consuming physical behavioural actions to diminish the anxiety? Is that anxiety born of the assumption that they are being left behind in a celebrity culture that promises fame and stardom for anybody willing to jump on the centre stage, regardless of talent.

I admit, I don't belong to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, or any other social networking faction. I admit, I don't "get it". However, should I see this as a positive attribute of my character or admit that I am probably a sociopath? Of course, the question is rhetorical because I don't care what everybody else thinks.

The thing is, regardless of what the original appeal is to individuals, by virtue of offering essentially the same utility function to everybody, it has a behavioural impact. The more it is used, the more an individual is honed to perform in a specific way, generating a kind of nervous tic in addicts such that they must report the most banal events of their lives, in real-time to an audience that probably doesn't really care - rather, they use the very banality of other people to justify the self-appraised interesting events of their own lives.

This isn't a rally against people who use such sites, rather, I am trying to get to grips with the social affect and effect that it has on people. Surely such sites are about fame and celebrity, being known to people who you would otherwise never have communicated with? Not that communication per se is the objective. Surely the whole point is that it is essentially asynchronous. Kind of like, shouting the loudest to make yourself heard.

Again, back to social impact. What is it doing to people? Bringing them together or driving them apart? Are people being defined by their soundbytes or by their validity as human beings?

Apparently, the most poignant Twitter announcements were from somebody known simply as "Mayfly". They posted a total of three messages indicating that they had "Just been born", "Just ate something" and "Just shagged for the first time". Their last message was by proxy indicating that they had "Just died this afternoon".

[edit on 18-5-2009 by SugarCube]

posted on May, 18 2009 @ 10:57 AM
twit (twt)
tr.v. twit·ted, twit·ting, twits
To taunt, ridicule, or tease, especially for embarrassing mistakes or faults. See Synonyms at ridicule.
1. The act or an instance of twitting.
2. A reproach, gibe, or taunt.
3. Slang A foolishly annoying person.
3 (B). A person who twitters

posted on May, 21 2009 @ 05:50 AM
Do ATS'ers really not have an opinion on this? The practice of social networking itself appears benign but do we see an undercurrent of a negative effect on "real" social grouping and interaction?

posted on May, 21 2009 @ 12:54 PM

Originally posted by SugarCube
Do ATS'ers really not have an opinion on this? The practice of social networking itself appears benign but do we see an undercurrent of a negative effect on "real" social grouping and interaction?

Not really - sorry. I think it's a pretty dumb idea and don't use it at all. But if people want to do that it's there own deal.

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