Tuesday, March 20

Overloading Communication: Twitter

Random Twit: Subscribed to Twitter, refilled my Ritalin prescription, and all is well.

Considering Ritalin and Prozac are two of the most widely prescribed medications in history (Prozac claims 54 million patients worldwide alone), it might be time to ask just how much communication is too much interference.

Random Twit: I hope Mindy didn't stay up all night. I don't care just so long as she takes me and picks me up from court.

There is even a term out there (coined last year) specific for online users, Digital Attention Deficit Disorder (DADD) and covered by Leon Gettler. The general idea is that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), also referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), is a neurobiological condition affecting children and adults. And in many cases, it's linked to information overload.

Random Twit: twitter cats are so much better than real cats.

It's something to consider when talking about Twitter. Certainly there are some worthwhile applications for broadcast IMs, microblogs, or whatever other label you want to put on them. But never before have I seen so many people embrace intrusive communication, including advertisements, and wonder if they may be susceptible to distractibility, impulsiveness, and in some cases hyperactivity.

Random Twit: using some of these other 3d shareware packages to create things makes you realize just how cool and easy second life is.

Twitter adds to the already overbearing communication mix. I once had a client who asked me to subscribe to Skype. It worked well for the task at hand, but I wasn't interested after that. (He keep calling me to ask why I wasn't online all the time). I had to ask myself how many communication streams do I want to allow into my life.

Random Twit: Wondering how Justin Timberlake songs fool me into thinking that I can dance.

The answer was none. No more. Not at least until I could get rid of the older ones. You see, at the time, I had two phones, one fax, one cell, three e-mails, two blogs, several forums, three instant message accounts, chat etc., etc., etc. Add in everything from stat tracking, Reddit, Digg, continual media pursuing for candidates and clients, and you'll see how easy multiple communication streams can be an asset or, perhaps, unnecessary potential stress points. Most of them did nothing more than add unneeded layers of interruption (even if that interruption is a microsecond to respond to an IM).

Random Twit: sleep cause i got to go to new york for the tax man, i am tired

I'm all for multi-tasking, but I'm not a fan of multi-annoyance. So I decided then to use Skype when needed — when conducting a conference call with multiple parties, including Japan — but that's it. So went Skype, so went instant messaging and chatting ( and I'm very close to losing our fax number too). I also stop giving out my cell number (except for political accounts and close clients/friends), all in an effort to control the growing buzz of one communication stream after another.

Random Twit: Just dropped off Beetle at school and am watching Fritz now as Gert gets ready.

The biggest boon of all was the decision to let nothing pass the front door of the gym for an hour or hour and a half every day. No communication needed except an iPod. Some people might call that isolationism or even anti-social, but I call it self-preservation without the need for medication.

Random Twit: home sick today again

I guess I don't see the need to know that a perfect stranger is home sick today, though it is somewhat fascinating to me that he felt a need to share it with the world. Creating Passionate Users called this one right: maybe Twitter is too good. Kathy Sierra goes on to point out Twitter is a near-perfect example of an intermittent variable reward, a creator of a strong "feeling of connectedness" that tricks the brain into thinking it is having a meaningful social interaction, and a contributor to the growing problem of always-on multi-tasking.

Random Twit: Does anyone else think Veronica Belmont looks like she's twelve?

I especially like her point on the "feeling of connectedness" because, business applications aside, instant messaging and Twittering only seem important if you lack meaningful social interactions in the real world. I didn't miss instant messaging nearly as much as I thought I would. But I suppose the same can be said for any addiction.

Random Twit: Looks like BBC World has had a make over. Reds and blacks have become greens and blacks. Clever.

Addiction? Well, considering the relatively few people who have said Twitter ain't all that, it seems odd to me that Twitter fans would call them a conspiracy to shut Twitter down before they try it. Not that long ago, only pod people and borgs made that argument. (In fact, one Twitter I saw yesterday claimed remorse over the fact that some guy's dog had a better stream than he did. )

Random Twit: No, it is *you* who are linearly polarized!!

Resistance is not futile. I'll take a pass on this one, despite being receptive to new technology. I can say that because I was one of the first people to meet a future spouse online. Funny. I didn't miss chatting once she moved here. Enough said.

Except maybe, be wary of anyone who says Twittervision will cause you to waste your whole day. It held my attention for about the time it took to write this post (and that was only because I was pulling a few random twits for this post.)

Random Twit: Cleaning up all of the debris that imified caused to my Twitter.

Random Twit: showing a coworker twitter

Random Twit: Alright, Alright, I'll do my work...



MK on 3/20/07, 4:28 PM said...

"He kept calling me to ask why I wasn't online all the time".

I had to laugh at that. I also like "Twit" better than "Tweet".

-- Recruiting Animal

Veronica on 3/20/07, 4:48 PM said...

Psh... 12? Give me that users name! ;)

Rich on 3/21/07, 10:39 AM said...

Veronica, I grabbed them without looking ... but if I knew, I might have to protect the source... Ha!

Animal, glad you liked! Seems we're equal skeptics for different reasons on this one.


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