26 April 2009

A Tweeter Not, Maketh A Luddite?

I am still struggling with the concept of Twitter on a broader basis. I originally thought I was alone but I have found quite a few Professors out there who share the same view. I don't think it is an age thing either.

My big concern is that we are about to be overwhelmed by the amount of digital "stuff" that will be generated.

Gerry McGovern's editorial today about adopting different writing styles for web vs. the printed form applies even more pertinently to the Twitter form.

I went through today's Sunday paper and counted the number of mentions of Twitter in the news sections of the paper. (including the ads in those sections). I was astounded when it exceeded 300. I gave up after that.

What I realized is that there is a lack of nuance. I (being me or all of us) cannot really take a subtle approach to the issue of Twittering. I have binary choice - opt in or be left out. As Professor Cloud said in a recent conversation - are we becoming a generation of people who adopt technology because we are afraid of being left behind or even worse being left out if we don't adopt said technology? This is a frightening concept to me who grew up where the notion of an Orwellian world was something to fear.

Little did we know that we would adopt the very framework of this world so easily and out children think nothing of it. We have become de-sensitized to the adoption of the technology that has to power to cause our minds to become - perhaps something we don't want to be.

Rick Evans' lyrics were ringing in my ears today. I think 2525 is going to happen a lot sooner than any of us think. In my mind's eye the world of technology gone just a tad awry as personified in Gibson's books is here and now, not the slightly ahead of now that he writes about.

No I am not a luddite. I have been a huge supporter and manager of technology, I intend remaining so - but not at any price. I do think its healthy to challenge the philosophical notion of the concept of the technology such as Twitter.

Does the balance being beneficial mean that it should be allowed?
Who makes the rules?
Should there be rules?
What is the loss? IE What are we giving up if we take on and adopt a certain technology?

I hope that we all can question technology and remember that we need to remain in control as humans. Ceding ultimate power to a machine or a technology was something I never thought possible and the stuff of science fiction. The spread and ease of adoption of Twitter has given me cause to pause and reflect whether I still believe that.

Something for everyone to consider.

Good night and Good luck.

Here are some references.

Zager and Evans Lyrics for 2525 can be found here:

Gerry McGovern's blog and comments can be found here:

William Gibson's blog and website is here:

And of course in my view one of the best places to get knowledge is the library.
Take a trip - sign up and be a part of your library. It will amaze you!
For the Internet Public Library go here:

1 comment:

Roberg said...

The problem I have with Twitter is I don’t know how to manage it. Facebook is easy because I chose when to login, but just like text messaging and e-mail, Twitter can become overwhelming because I don’t have control over incoming messages. I have spam filters for e-mail and they help some, and thankfully I don’t get many text messages. But at this point I can do something about Twitter – not follow anybody. I suppose a day may arrive soon when I will have no choice though, because someone will decide to use Twitter as the only source of notification of something I need (i.e. meeting appointments? – I’m speculating … ) replacing e-mail for short messages.