I just read an interesting article about Twitter, and how it affects our daily communications habits. New to the Download Squad Team, Saul Colt, « Head of magic » at Freshbooks, wrote a funny first post on the DS blog, explaining how he is starting to think in a 140 characters, and how he identifies it as a coming dilemma for the Z generation (he also explains that he comes from a somewhat conservative family).
The comments are pretty harsh. I think commenters are just testing the newbie:
No thanks. I didn’t come to Download Squad looking for a lame comedy routine.
Here is my reaction to it (since my comment didn’t make it on their page for no apparent reason):
Twitter is a small emerging trend in the communications space. Twitterers spend way too much time trying to converse with the rest of the world, and they forget that there are other communications tools out there, new tools, and booming as well. Live online video, with Skype, recently Google Chat, TokBox. Video doesn’t serve the same communications needs, and in a way, Twitter is creating a new need: Being involved in an ongoing conversation with the rest of the world (or the rest of the Twitterverse).
Only a power user of the SMS platform could start wondering if we will all communicate through short messaging in the future. Of course not. The 140 characters format is perfect when all you want is a quick status alert. Here is a list of the communications I think we will handle with 140 characters in the near future (with or without Twitter):
- local weather
- personalized news feed headlines
- social networks friends’ updates
- bank and credit card balances
- home electric consumption
- home plants’ needs
- car gas consumption
Basically, I believe Twitter is a great tool to make us more aware of our environment (therefore more intelligent) by delivering our environment’s feedbacks in a short and easy to digest format, in a manner that saves us time.
Of course, we will also be able to control our environment through 140 characters, which is also a gain of time. However, there’s a lot of things 140 characters can’t do, so there’s no need to get all dogmatic about it.