Really, I wanted to talk about my experiences on Chinese buses (it's pretty interesting), but that can always be written whenever. Rather, I wanna just talk quickly about this article here, because to write it later would not be very timely, you know?
Given my previous post on Twitter, one could say that how this news story about the Ford Explorer and the baseball player broke is the perfect example of why Twitter is so awesome. I disagree, precisely because if the news is important, it will find me. You see, I don't need Twitter to be the way for it to find me. In fact, the likelihood that I'll miss it on Twitter could possibly be much higher (unless it's so big that EVERYONE's retweeting it, in which case, it'll probably be big enough for me to see it anywhere else online or offline). If that's all Twitter's good for, isn't that just redundant? How's it any better than the combination of Facebook, e-mail, IM, and all the face-to-face interactions that happen offline?
In fact, I'd warrant that Twitter exacerbates the negative issues discussed in Carr's article than not. The ease with which one can type out speedy snippets and spread them to rapidly to the rest of the world, combined with the pressure journalists (and everyday individuals) have to be first and get the glory, makes for a situation where fact checking will occur even less. This in turn would potentially make quality suffer even more.
Here are my three points again:
1. Time is scarce.
2. Quality is hard.
3. Lasting value will stand the test of time.
You can't create solid quality at such a frenetic pace consistently in the long run. Sprinters can't run marathons. But more and more, people are trying to sprint to both produce and consume information. We should all relax a bit before society suffers from a postmodern aneurysm.
Ah yes, and then there's also the fact that Kanye West is now baring his soul on Twitter, apologizing to Taylor Swift and all. Twitter's been a fascinating social experiment on how celebrities can connect and converse with everyday individuals. I'll admit that's cool. It rescued Conan O'Brien, allows Justin Bieber to try to calm down his rabid fangirls, and gives Ashton Kutcher an outlet for his desire to just have fun. That's interesting to watch. Admittedly, it's still not for me though. It's like eating a grape picked by a superstar. Then he gives out the grapes to everyone else too. Hey! You get a grape! You get a grape too! Believe me, these grapes are awesome, so tasty and juicy! Oh, you can't get enough? Here are more grapes, I got plenty!
I'd rather the superstar cook me a 7-course meal and explain to me why he loves these recipes so much. If you get my analogy. But so few people have the time necessary to actually do that. Which is why Twitter seems to be filling the gap quite admirably. But it's not enough for me to want to really use the service, since I've never been much of a celebrity stalker in the first place anyway. Honestly, if my favourite celebrity's true thoughts can be expressed in only 140 characters or less, I'm not quite sure I'd sit at his feet to hear him throw out those 140 character anecdotes. You know? Give me the infrequent full lecture any day, and let me live my life with the rest of my time.
I remember someone once commenting that Twitter wasn't very useful, so @Ev (or was it Biz Stone?) shot back, "Neither is ice cream." Well... ice cream is an amazing comfort food that has provided joy throughout the ages and has stood the test of time. I still wonder if Twitter can, especially when it can't even get a single bite from some like me (while others end up joining Tweeters Anonymous to stop the pain).
Edit: Besides, ice cream was never meant to be eaten in a constant voluminous stream handed to you like Twitter. With ice cream, YOU get to choose the EXACT flavour and quantity, and you do it infrequently, preferably as a dessert after a scrumptious dinner or as a snack on a sweltering hot day. That way, you can enjoy its amazing variety and also never fatigue of it.
I'm going to go play tennis now. :)