-George Orwell, 1984
Today in my library class we got to talking about augmenting technologies. That is to say, we were discussing technologies, in particular online communication technologies, that theoretically help us to be more efficient in our communications. The starting point for our discussion was MySpace; then we moved on to Facebook; then we reverted chronologically a bit to instant messaging platforms before reaching the online communication du jour: Twitter.
Twitter, in all honesty, creeps me out. Why on earth should I care what anyone has to say at all times? Why do I care what everyone else is thinking about? Don't I have enough going on in my own immediate space to keep me perfectly engaged with the world and occupied? Additionally, why would I want for other people to have access to my every thought and musing? I have plenty of privacy issues with Facebook as it is; I'd cancel my account if it wouldn't mean losing touch with people. So why would I want to fully put myself out there with something like Twitter?
I think, too, that the hyper-abbreviation that 140-character limits breeds will ultimately cause our thinking process to stagnate and then recede. If you can only express in 140 characters, eventually you're going to start thinking within those limits as well. Talk about thinking inside the box. To the worst extreme.