Where Twitter Leads

September 18, 2009 | 4 Comments

Category: Future, Society, Unconscious, Web

There is a process that we engage in that is characterized by our observing changes in information over time, noting trends and estimating where we will be in the future.  Our lives are filled with charts that provide an image of where we may end up at some particular point.  Usually what is implied is something scary.  Gore’s pictorial representations of greenhouse gases are an example.

I engage in a similar process, focusing on patterns that reflect both personal experience and my social environment.  What interests me are evolution, transformation, consciousness and interconnection.  The news might suggest some specific thing is bound to get worse because there is an evident pattern to support the conclusion, and then it focuses on that thing because it drives viewers to return.  I also have a criterion for what I focus on.  My criterion is that what I follow has to be interesting.

So, reality has little to do with what the media choose to share.  Reality has little to do with what I choose to focus on and write about.  Still, whether a song describes reality isn’t as important as whether the song succinctly expresses feelings and a point of view.  That is what I am seeking to achieve:  a grounded, cogent, emotional slice of real, in the now.

Twitter is such a tiny slice.  I’m seeing it as a crack between the worlds, not unlike that described by Carlos Castaneda.  There were times in the Castaneda books when Don Juan would behave in ways that resulted in Carlos’s perceptions being transformed.  A world characterized by hidden interconnections would emerge.

Twitter is opening a crack that is providing vast numbers of interconnections among people, establishing a routine characterized by a sharing of massive amounts of information at lightning speeds.

Meditating since 1972, in psychotherapy for over half my life, I’ve observed a trend in my perception, my self consciousness, which is characterized by an increasing sense of trust and confidence.  The confidence isn’t exactly in myself but is confidence in that which is unconscious, my conscious or normal self, and people in my life.  I’m not a particularly heart-driven person.  Yet, over time, I’ve experienced a slow growing of trust.  In other words, I can chart out my own personality transformation, nurtured by an environment designed to encourage such transformations, and estimate where my self is headed.

Observing my own personal transformation, I observe society following a similar path.  Twitter is a window to that transformation.

At this time, Twitter mostly seems a game to accumulate followings by offering interest in another person’s life.  That interest seems often feigned as players seek opportunities to share personal experiences with many people.  Nevertheless, in an effort to encourage others to pay attention, there is a tendency to pass on interesting information that has been received, to behave with some authenticity and to be funny or entertaining.  I’m observing a number of interesting patterns that are emerging.

Twitter users grow higher-value microblogging personas by finding and passing on information that their community respects.  Individuals are being evaluated by their access to information and sorting criteria for what is passed on.  Who we are is becoming characterized by how connected we are.  In this horizontal, interconnected, information world, information is valuable.

Suddenly, we have access to worldwide real-time information on what individuals are concerned with in this moment.  Using Google to find blogs that specialized in a particular interest was the last derivation of this trend.  We can now search within Twitter to find people anywhere that share our particular interest or point of view.  Arcane passions can find reflection half the world away.  In real time.

Discovery of a person with astonishingly similar interests can lead to a treasure trove of information.  Simply exploring the list of people that the new person follows can lead to interconnections hidden because websites weren’t achieving high enough rankings or the information was not easily accessible on the web.

Each individual becomes a hub in the universe of his or her interests.  Leaping from hub to hub, exploring followers and followings, I am astonished by the almost infinite variety of connection.  In addition, many personal connections are being made as personal messages between connections encourage trust.  As time is dispensed in the form of messages, relationships are being formed.

Where is this going?  What does this trend line suggest?

This is a massive, incomprehensibly quick realignment to a horizontal, nonhierarchical, nonstratified point of view.  The commons is growing at an incalculable speed as shared resources emerge and disperse both efficiently and at no cost.  Our deep desire to feel respected is transforming into information-sharing behavior, not unlike the aboriginal potlatch.  Instead of seeking conspicuous consumption and hierarchical control, he or she that accumulates seeks to share.

What is occurring is profoundly aboriginal yet astonishingly modern as we each behave as part of a massive, interconnected whole with no mythology, no deity and no rituals that confuse the metaphor with that which the metaphor represents.  We are each reveling in the benefits of life lived with a small band or tribe with no hierarchical barriers to communication, except we are doing so with thousands.  Each individual is in his or her own customized community, with deep shared beliefs that could be described as a reverence for process.

God, now, truly has no name.

Where is Twitter heading?  We are speeding toward behavior that takes into consideration the wider community, a wisdom of the masses that makes understanding available at no cost.

Twitter is the crack that is splitting open an individual’s belief that he or she is alone and can have little effect or influence on the world.  Mainstream media’s reality that life is frightening and we are helpless to intervene will feel strangely anachronistic.  Frames of reference that engender change and transformation will feel familiar.  Don Juan showed Carlos how to shift perception.  Our perception is being shifted by Twitter and what follows.  The trend is clear.  With Twitter we are focusing on the now.


This entry was posted on Friday, September 18th, 2009 at 7:44 am and is filed under Future, Society, Unconscious, Web. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
4 Comments so far

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