Social Question

Zuma's avatar

Are we becomming twitter-brained?

Asked by Zuma (5908points) September 18th, 2009

Is all this recent preoccupation with text messaging just a fad, or is it going to become a more permanent feature of our culture. If so, how do you think we will be transformed. Will it shorten our attention spans further? Could it pose problems for people relating to people in real life?

Will it destroy the English language? Or the art of writing letters? Will it decrease our tolerance for people and things who do not keep us immediately entertained in the moment? Will our desire to share our most insignificant and transient thoughts make us shallow and narcissistic—or drown out more serious discourse? Will it make us even more boorish and uncivil?

I remember AOL chat rooms back in the early 90s where no matter what the topic, the depth of the discussion seldom got much further than Whassup? But look how far we have come with sites like Fluther.

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24 Answers

potrick's avatar

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. In all seriousness though, this is a very real trend. This piece from the Atlantic explores our decreasing ability to pay attention in the Internet age; I highly recommend it.

Qingu's avatar

@Zuma, judging from the history of “new technology is ruining culture” statements, I am dismissive of them by default.

I do think that the internet in general and probably Twitter in particular has changed the way I interact with information. I am positive I have more trouble reading a book straight through; any information channel is a “tab” for me now that I am always tempted to click out of and check the next one. However, I don’t think this is a degradation; it’s just different.

Technology has always changed the way we behave and interact and learn. I would argue that, over time, it’s demonstrably changed in a positive direction.

Zen's avatar

I think there will always be McDonald’s, and always be “slow food” eaters.

I woof, not tweet.

I write, but also text my kids.

I play video games, but listen to records.

Best of both worlds? Maybe…

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I do not tweet, I do not text and I do not ever plan on it. I used to do Facebook and My Space, but found it more annoying than anything.

I like video games, and I also listen to cassettes. I have some old 8 tracks, but no way to play them. I suppose i should donate them to some audio history museum.

Zen's avatar

@ZEE – save the 8 tracks for my visit: I’ll bring the player.

;-) lurve

Darwin's avatar

I don’t tweet either, and I only text when I absolutely have to. I sometimes play video games but not often. I have accounts on Facebook and MySpace but don’t use them much. I did use the Facebook account when I was trapped in the house due to foot surgery but now I have better things to do. I listen to cassettes, LPs, CDs and MP3s, but I sold all my 8-tracks in a garage sale.

And I still am quite happy to sit and read.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Zen, sweet, I have bunches from the 70’s.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Language always evolves. We can’t stop it from doing so and this twittering or the age of digital technology will not destroy it. As long as we have a need to express our ideas in all their complexity nothing will destroy language (unless Big Brother suddenly starts watching on us).

Also, I’m one of those people who makes an effort to spell out all (or almost all! I’m occasionally lazy) my words even when texting or emailing or MSNing etc. etc. etc. It just makes comprehending things easier for me.

Tink's avatar

I don’t use or have a Twitter. I only text, fluther, and blog. But even when I use these things, I like to use correct grammar, and punctuation. And I hate myspace, I’m probably the only teenager that doesn’t use it. Whenever someone asks me why I don’t have one, I want to do this to them.

Zen's avatar

@Tink1113 Cool how these things did not even exist so long ago; now they are verbs. Text, fluther and blog. Even google and I’ve seen facebook and myspace used as verbs. Shazbat!


Tink's avatar

@Zen Haha, correct.

Zuma's avatar

@Tink1113 Could you please tell grandpa what “carebearstare” is?

Zen's avatar

@Zuma Tell me when she tells you?

Tink's avatar

@Zuma and @Zen Carebearstare is what I do to people that annoy me, I shoot a rainbow from my belly directly at them and they crash against a wall. :)

Tink's avatar

@Zen Yes, it’s quite useful.

Zen's avatar

@Tink1113 I just shot someone in another thread.

Tink's avatar

@Zen I saw, you are becoming an expert at it. Keep it up.

Zen's avatar

@Tink1113 I am a little trigger happy, but luckily my aim good so no collateral damage thus far.

markyy's avatar

Since I often feel discouraged to read your and Daloon’s very lengthy posts (I know they’re always insightful so I read them anyway), I would say yes we do have shorter attentionspan thanks to twitter and compadros.

Axemusica's avatar

Even though I use(d) most of the technology mentioned in this thread, I myself don’t feel like I’m part of this “effected” group of people. I know I’m a bright person, but no genius and I can see the stupidity growing. I’m not sure how Twitter came to be, but I didn’t even know what it was until I got an iPhone. I’ve also noticed that people that do not have an iPhone or a Crackberry (they can twitter too) and I think a few select other phones, tend not to twitter much or at all. I used to be obsessed, but I’m sure it would’ve been the same for anyone with a new toy (my iPhone).

I used to myspace @Zen ;P back when I used to party a lot, but it got boring. A lot of people on there are very superficial and have hidden motives. Facebook is not to bad, I have never been real fond of it, but it got me back in touch with members of my family that I didn’t know I had and ect…

I sure hope that most of these teenagers I see following silly trends emo and such really grow out of that. I remember when fashion was cool and resistance was not, now it seems that not conforming is a trend. I can probably say that one of the big reasons why I don’t have many friends is because I can stand to be around air headed people and it’s also probably the number one reason why I’ve become so addicted to Fluther. I’ve found very few if none people on here that don’t have something intellectual to say. I hate when I’m not able to talk to someone because they can’t comprehend what I’m talking about, lol.

BBQsomeCows's avatar


the twits merely have a platform dedicated to them now

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