Last week, George Packer wrote an article titled, Stop the World, for The New Yorker. Though I use Twitter, I still enjoyed his old-media world cynicism, as well as his unwritten call to consider how much we imbibe.
The notion of sending and getting brief updates to and from dozens or thousands of people every few minutes is an image from information hell. I’m told that Twitter is a river into which I can dip my cup whenever I want. But that supposes we’re all kneeling on the banks. In fact, if you’re at all like me, you’re trying to keep your footing out in midstream, with the water level always dangerously close to your nostrils. Twitter sounds less like sipping than drowning.
And though the following is perhaps alarmist, maybe there is reason for some alarm after all. If Twitter (or Facebook or anything) keeps us from living on unseen things, it’s no longer good craic.
Who doesn’t want to be taken out of the boredom or sameness or pain of the present at any given moment? That’s what drugs are for, and that’s why people become addicted to them. Twitter is crack for media addicts. It scares me, not because I’m morally superior to it, but because I don’t think I could handle it. I’m afraid I’d end up letting my son go hungry.