19
Mar
09

Twitter is blind, deaf, and could be dumb


charles-dickens2The latest meme passing through the internet has to do with a young graduate calling herself Ciscofatty was unhappy about getting a job with Cisco.  It has been documented in this blog.  What the commenters couldn’t understand was why someone known who was qualified to be hired by Cisco would be silly enough to twitter her anxieties about the job.  The commenters did not take into account human nautre.

  • People have a compulsion to unburden themselves in communication.
  • They get into the habit of using a one mode of communication and forget to compartmentalize.
  • Many people don’t have strong real-life social groups.
  • Even if they do, what friend is available to listen to you all day long?

FUSION: The internet has brought a fusion between what we say and what we write.  Never before has there been so much semi-permanent documentation for millions of conversations.  Your friend could keep a file of all your chats.  Emails were the first of this fusion.  Now using email seems as bothersome as writing a letter with a quill pen.

COLD FUSION: The telephone was one of the first electronic devices that let us talk without seeing each other.  But at least we could hear our friend’s tone of voice, notice the pauses and the ahhh’s and ummm’s.  But with this fusion commication, we are using informal conversational language but without seeing our friend.  When we used to write formally, we reflected on the choice of our words.  We knew we would not be present to defend or define what we wrote.  We don’t have time to reflect and consider in this fusion of writing words that were only spoken before.

WATCHING: When we talk face to face, half of what we are communicating is coming from our face.  Almost the rest of what we communicate comes from our body language or the umm’s and ahhh’s.  Only 7% of what we communicate comes from our words.

LISTENING: In a face to face conversation, we get feedback immediately.  If we have been misunderstood, then we can repair the situation before our friend holds that misunderstanding too long.  We can adjust what we were going to say when we hear their voice.

When we twitter, chat, use sms, or use email for a conversation, we are blind.  We cannot see our friend as we give our words.  We can’t hear their voice.  What we say could be inappropriate and we wouldn’t have a clue.

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