This is a continuation of my post yesterday Are you a Thought Processor or an Idea Generator.
Does twitter (and other such Web 2.0 instant messaging practices) reduce our ability to project forward, to see ahead? Is a whole new generation of humans being trained to make snap decisions without due consideration or care for the wider implications?
Twitter is all about the here and now. There is minimal context within each message. Any broader context comes only from the existing relationship between the recipient and the twitterer – where the relationship is formed outside of twitter (as in the parties are friends or colleagues), or where the twitterer has a public profile, or where the recipient has been a long-time follower of the twitterer.
This opens up the possibility of mass miscommunication, of misinterpretation – the recipient is often required to formulate some sort of judgement or perception based on very little information.
Spontaneity and low-context communications could be a more dangerous mix than we realise. A throwaway in-the-moment comment can potentially be misinterpreted and turned into a firestorm.