I recently swallowed very many technology-related apprehensions and joined Twitter. Yes, maybe the Tribune Twitterati list had something to do with it. It seemed as if there was a parallel world existing just beyond the parameters of my mental block, with a host of chattering voices that I could almost hear.
Objectively speaking, it’s fascinating. It is indeed a hectic world, with clever one-liners being tossed about and recycled for all of twenty minutes, until a new distraction is found. “Real-time” would be a good adjective to describe just about every aspect of it – the hyphen being of supreme importance. It’s not about Real Time, you understand. Just like it isn’t about Real Debate, or – dare I say it – Real People. Virtual-ity can ever only be a simulation of the other-ality, and since it’s so very soft and flexible it can be moulded to look smarter, pithier and more eloquent than the imperfect alternative.
At the same time, it’s a pretty good reflection of where we are as human beings on this planet, today. On one hand we’re losing the patience to listen (or read beyond 140 characters); and on the other there is this overwhelming need to communicate. Information, thought, emotion: all must be transmitted before there is enough time for the personal system to process it. The more flexibility there is the more room there is for haste. Tweets, unlike other things hurled into cyberspace, can be deleted if embarrassing in retrospect.
So if I release this into the tworld, tomorrow morning I can just as easily pretend it wasn’t me. What a perfectly delicious thought – and one so easily shared.