Texting and Twitter Take Over

Cell phones and social networking sites have been on the rise for the past few years now, but suddenly they are really taking off. With a large scale Twitter following and the development of newer, better cell phones and the iPhone, it sometimes seems as though we can’t go a day without relying on these technical devices. And now it’s gone one step further: even our novels are being typed up and invented on Twitter and on cell phones.

Although I Tweet and blog on a regular basis, I can’t imagine writing a novel in that way. It’s a personal preference, but once something as intimate as writing fiction takes place on these kinds of devices, it really goes to show just how much control technology has on our lives. Texting and Twitter take over, indeed.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to our addiction to Twitter, cell phones, and the Internet in general:

  • We might work at a faster pace, but accuracy is falling by the wayside. Our busy lives and need for speed means that we get a lot done, but is it really worth it if we do a sloppy job?
  • Most of the “conversations” on Twitter are pointless babble and therefore time-wasters. But are they really? Could it not just be considered easy-going banter between friends? The supposed “babble” is also a way to network. Communities built through Twitter are helpful for meeting new people interested in your field.
  • One study shows that students may learn more from taking an online course than an in-classroom course. I have taken online courses before and it’s difficult to say if I learned any more from it than a regular class. I would argue that it depends on many factors, including how the instruction is taking place, if there is any in-person coursework involved, and if it is individual or group work.
  • Twitter could lead to emotional detachment*. Friendships crumble when we begin to rely on social networking systems as our main form of communication. We forget that seeing people face-to-face is necessary—we can’t rely on the Internet to be our sole way to keep up a friendship.
  • Cell phones and Twitter have the advantage of getting information to the world faster than some other forms of mainstream media. Journalists that are up to speed on the latest technology—and who are at the right place at the right time—can take advantage of this to be the first one on the scene with all of the information right there to break the news to the world. Regular people can, too.
  • Texting Championships*. Need I say more?

Social networking sites, cell phones… there’s no escaping from any of it as texting and Twitter take over. And I don’t think that anyone would really want to escape it, either. These forms of communication have done their job well.

*Please note that phrases marked with an asterisk were linked to articles which are no longer available on the websites they were originally published on.