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Twitter philosophy

Will Twitter inspire a new philosophy? In words of James Alan Freeman  “getting information quickly is very easy and free”. However, Clive Thompson asserts that Twitter has become a bubble for its users. This “autistic” behavior is called social awareness. Thompson writes

“Social scientifics describe it very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does — body language, sighs, stray comments — out of the corner of your eye”.

Whatever the consequences of  Twitter are good or bad, there is an undeniable fact: Microblogging is generating a remarkable controversy. We can find both, people who consider it harmful and devastating for the intelligence and others who believe that it is the birthplace of a new philosophy.

According to Carry Jenkins the tweets have influenced the society deeply; the problem nowadays is not to be or not to be, but “to tweet or not to tweet”. Nevertheless, is this a philosophy or an addiction? The rapidity of information and interpersonal relations in such a media is indisputable. The aforementioned James Allan Freeman, put a specific example:

    “Think back to September 11th, 2001. Where were you when you heard about the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center? How long after it happened were you notified? For those lucky enough to be near a television, you probably found out a couple minutes after it happened.  Nowadays almost every person would have found out about it via text, Facebook, or Twitter, within 15 minutes of it happening.”

However, this instant information and the constant necessity of cybernetic interaction with the rest of the users have created a dangerous dependence on Twitter. In thoughtflashes, it is kept a firm opinion. Like any form of addiction, (…) addictions usually arise due to a feeling of emptiness in the absence of the addiction as we try to cling to something that is lacking in our lives. The addiction helps to make us tense such that we are not worried about other more worrying matters or for the purpose of trying to attain what we want, such as making us feel more loved, for example. In fact, data related to the increasing popularity of Twitter show a drastic development. In the next image, the statistics demonstrate how quick it has raise.

Twitter Statistics

As in many aspects in life, Twitter is totally ambiguous. Of course, Lisa Hoover was wright, social networking services expand the pool of people we have the opportunity to meet to near limitless possibilities. We’re no longer restricted to or rely on people in our neighborhood, church, or workplace to provide the interaction we desire. Nevertheless, this kind of micro-blogging has a remarkable impact in the way we speak and write, as Aliza Sherman said. The superficiality is also inevitable; those tweets- slogans I would say- just cannot cover deep thoughts: reflections that need an argumentation, an explanation. As a virtual tool, Twitter can give the user many possibilities and hopes, but is it inspiring as a philosophical tool?


  1.  James Alan Freeman (2009, October 12). How Sharing Information has Changed: Twitter’s effect on today’s society. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from  http://fbme.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/how-sharing-information-has-changed-twitter-effect-today%E2%80%99s-society-by-james-alan-freeman/
  2. Clive Thompson (2006, Septembre 5). Brave New World of Digital IntimacyNew York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2011, from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/magazine/07awareness-t.html?scp=1&sq=ocial%20scientists%20have%20a%20name%20for%20this%20sort%20of%20incessant%20online%20contact.%20They%20call%20it%20%E2%80%9Cambient%20awareness&st=cse
  3. Carry Jenkins ( 2005, October 10). To tweet or not to tweet. iTunes. Retrieved, November 19, 2011, from http://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/philosophy/id396417671
  4. Carry Smith (2010, August 25). Overcoming Twitter adiction.  Thoughtflashes.  Retrieved Noveember 21, 2011, from http://www.techxav.com/2010/08/25/overcoming-twitter-addiction/
  5.  Image taken from the next web page. Retrieved November 18, 2011. http://blog.kissmetrics.com/twitter-statistics/?wide=1
  6.  Lisa Hoover (2009, April 7). How social Networking has changed society. PCWorld. Retrieved November 25, 2011, from http://www.pcworld.com/article/162719/how_social_networking_has_changed_society.html
  7.  Liza Sherman (2010, April 8). How social media is affecting the way we speak and witeGigaOM . Retrieved November 17, 2011, from http://gigaom.com/collaboration/how-social-media-is-affecting-the-way-we-speak-and-write/
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