More Contra Twitter: Scotland on Sunday, 22 Feb. “A Bunch of Twits”

Writing in Scotland of Sunday, the journalist Richard Bath uses Cyburbia as the hook in a piece criticising the Twitterati. Read the article here. I’m grateful for the plug, but I don’t quite argue that we’re “hard-wired to like Twitter” or that wanting to be “in the loop” is a basic human condition. I say that the idea of being on an electronic information loop, rapidly responsive to information which comes our way and continuously lobbing back feedback, is an idea which we can trace back seventy years – that it started out as a clever metaphor, and has now gone some way towards a self-fulfilling prophecy. I want to argue that spending large tracts of our time on this online information loop has changed us in subtle and often unacknowledged ways, which present exciting new possibilities for storytellers, authors, managers and anyone with something interesting to say or do. Thus far, however, I want to argue that we’ve been too much excited by the medium of online information rather than what it can achieve.  Spending time on a continuous loop of electronic information, I argue, doesn’t necessarily make us more agile and more efficient, and can slow us down and confuse us if we spend too much time in its thrall. Does that sound reasonable?