Having been befriended in the night by Norse blog-goddess Annie Rhiannon, I have started thinking about Twitter again.
Naturally I can't just muck about on Twitter like everyone else, oh no. I have to understand what's so important about it.
I have to develop a Theory.
Is it fragmenting our linear sense of time, by showing what hundreds of different people are doing at the same moment? Is it shattering our sense of direction and meaning and purpose into kaleidoscopic shards of inconsequential thoughts and actions? Is it like blogging for ADHD sufferers? Can anyone communicate anything meaningful in 140 characters or fewer? If so, will it give rise to any new literary formats? Is it just a bunch of self-regarding old arse?
Your views would be much appreciated. In the meantime I am going to have a nice cup of tea.
UPDATE: I'm now feeling very smug, because just a few hours and ten comments later, and thanks in no small part to the contributions of Valerie and Sean, I reckon I've finally understood what Twitter is all about!
Basically it all harks back to what Sherry Turkle was saying in this article from the New Scientist in September last year - that people are becoming so used to having a social network on the internet that their feelings and experiences no longer seem real to them unless they share them online. So essentially people like typing what they're thinking or doing into Twitter because it makes it seem more real.
I suppose it is a sort of new version of taking a photograph, or capturing something on video.
Anyway, that theory makes a lot of sense to me, because most of the people on Twitter don't seem like idiots, but rather they seem to be very webby, connected people who are used to being online all the time. Bingo.
Thanks to everyone who suggested things in the comments - you have no idea how happy it has made me to be able to solve a problem with the help of disembodied blog-friends in Reykjavik, London, Bristol, Bangkok and San Diego. Ahhh, it's enough to restore your faith in the internet, isn't it?
Dear lord, I think the isolation is getting to me.