How is the Internet changing the way you think?


You mean, other than turning us into mental hummingbirds, crazy for empty-calorie tweets and sugary serial blog links?

Dave Barry probably said it best:

The Internet is a giant international network of intelligent, informed computer enthusiasts, by which I mean, ‘people without lives.’ We don’t care. We have each other.

Or read David Carr’s Why Twitter Will Endure (“Yes, I worry about my ability to think long thoughts — where was I, anyway? — but the tradeoff has been worth it.”)

Really? Or is David suffering an attack of that whaddaya-call-it? cognitive dissonance, the first line of defense in the psychological immune system. Suffering builds character, so I like to seek out suffering whenever possible. I don’t think of Twitter as attention deficit, I revel in it as diversion surplus.

Better yet, read the letters to the editor (yes, they still publish those!):

To the Editor:
David Carr perfectly captures the impoverishment of the cultural moment when he suggests, “There is always something more interesting on Twitter than whatever you happen to be working on.” The universe inside a soap bubble!
Peter Tarr
Bayside, Queens, Jan. 4, 2010

To the Editor:
I very much enjoyed the first 140 characters of David Carr’s article, “Why Twitter Will Endure.”
Boomer Pinches
Northampton, Mass., Jan. 3, 2010


Why will Twitter endure? Because nobody has the time to be “present” in the usual way to each other, according to Joel Stein, Call Me! (But not on Skype):

I used my landline to call Sherry Turkle, an MIT professor of the social studies of science and technology. She told me people are not only uninterested in Skype, we’re also not interested in talking on the regular phone. We want to TiVo our lives, avoiding real time by texting or e-mailing people when we feel like it. “Skype, which was the fantasy of our childhood, gets you back to sitting there and being available in that old-fashioned way. Our model of what it was to be present to each other, we thought we liked that,” she said. “But it turns out that time shifting is our most valued product. This new technology is about control. Emotional control and time control.”

The Edge: Annual Question – 2010