Twitter, Complexity, and Pizza

I don’t know how to Tweet. I think it’s pretty clear from my screenshot that I’m clueless, and I don’t fully understand the merit of Twitter. I started my account last year for a marketing class, and this is the first time I’ve looked at it since then. While I feel like I succeeded in producing, what Silver calls, “thick” Tweets (I’m going apartment hunting, I’m with my sister, I’m hungry, we were lost etc.) I don’t feel like it’s interesting or relevant information. They aren’t clever or particularly funny. The only humorous thing about it is the continuing story arch, I went apartment hunting, we got terribly lost, and hey! We had pizza for dinner also. Isn’t that great!…no…ok.

I think, in this instance, Rushkoff was correct, the net limits complexity. That is the exact set up and point of Twitter. We’re supposed to produce thoughts in this little tiny space. Maybe I’m just big on brevity, but I had an extremely difficult time composing a thick Tweet that didn’t go over the character limit. This makes me think, does the actual set up of Twitter, being less complex, make us less complex as well? No wonder the website is full of dull updates about moods and current meals. I have no idea how anyone can form an actual interesting thought with the space given.

I’ve seen it happen though, screenshots of clever and thought provoking Tweets litter the Internet. Maybe people can’t be reduced in their complexity no matter how simple things are made. If I know one thing, it’s that human beings adapt to new advances and new media. So while most of us, myself included, post banal updates about our lives, more and more people are getting the hang of Twitter and making this uncomplicated form of communication, a way to quickly reach people in a place where they will almost certainly read it. Just looks at all of the hashtag phenomenon that have gotten people to care about certain issues like #Ferguson or #YesAllWomen. Unfortunately though, I don’t think #yaypizza is going to pick up any time soon.



Discussion Questions:

  1. As the Web becomes more limited in complexity, are we becoming less complex as human beings?
  2. Can Twitter be used as a tool for complex thought? Is it actually being used that way?


  1. It’s an ugly thing to think about but I think that the limited complexity of our current use of new media is most definitely making us simpler people. My father, a political philosopher at heart and professor in practice, is often frustrated with my unwillingness to have long discussions about difficult topics. Like we discussed in class, I am much more likely to search for the correct answer rather than come to my own conclusion. Our reliance on Goggle make exploring issues such as morality extremely difficult, especially when our results a skewed.

  2. I agree that twitter limits complexity. Part of this I think is the 140 character limit. I also agree that twitter makes things more complex because in a sense it is it’s own kind of unique web language. I personally don’t tweet and since I tweeted for the first time I had some difficulties saying something intelligent.

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