Thursday, June 19, 2008

100 Blog Topics I Hope You Write: # 59

Continuing on with my Chris Brogan topic of 100 Blog Topics I Hope You Write...

# 59. Twitter is Too Simple- Twitter is Just Right

I had heard friends talking about "twitter" and "tweeter." So I did a little exploring. From what I gather, twitter is merely a non-branded "update" that you use to update friends and family about what you're doing. Think "status update" from MySpace or "what are you doing?" from Facebook, but not used on any particular application.

I have a slight problem with this. It's not that it's too simple, and it's not that it's just right. More and more we move away from being a physically social society and move towards being almost wholly technical. While this may be convenient and efficient, it ruins the whole aspect of personality. We have smarthomes, we have smartphones. We have cars that talk to us. We talk to cars. We have voice recognition on anything under the sun. Now we have a way of keeping friends and family informed on any aspect of our lives (or as many times as we want to hop online and update) over the internet.

What happened to a phone call? Let's take talking to people, and trace it on back:

45,000 - 10,000 years ago: Cro Magnon Man

1000+ AD - smoke signals used as a form of communication

Late 1700s - telegraph invented and used as means of communication by deciphering morse code.

Mid 1800s - many ideas of a "telephone" arise but no funds to patent idea

1875 - Bell patents "Transmitters and Receivers for Electric Telegraphs."

1876 - First clear transmission of a voice using liquid transmitter when Bell spoke into his device, " Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you."

Early 20th century - "real" telephones introduced.

April 1973 - first public call made on a cellular phone.

1989 - first "text message" sent via a beeper using numbers read upside down as letters.

1993 - first SMS messaging sent to wish "Merry Christmas."

1995 - Customers send average 0.4 messages per month using SMS.

2000 - number of messages per customer per month averages around 35.

2004 - Text messaging confirmed to being addictive by the study of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

Present - study at the Queensland University of Australia has found that text messaging is the most addictive digital service on mobile or internet, and is equivalent in addictiveness to cigarette smoking.

So here we are. We go from speaking to one another to punching out morse messages to one phoning one using a cell phone to talk to one text messaging instead of calling. Now, instead of doing any of those things, we're merely taking the anonymous and impersonal approach of telling anyone who cares what we're currently doing by posting it online.

While it seems like a good idea, I find it impersonal if used as your sole means of communicating with persons you know as to what's up in your life.

No comments: