I don’t know about you, but I’m absolutely sick of hearing, thinking, and talking about Twi---r. Twi---r this, Twi---r that, Twi---r everywhere. Twi---r clients, Twi---r trends, Twi---r alternatives and "Jane! Get me off this crazy thing!"
Nevertheless, in our quest to simplify, should we not consider carefully the medium that has so fleetingly brought us a more intimate understanding of Ashton Kutcher’s thought process?
I mean seriously. Doesn't A + K really equal "Ugh!"?
In considering my own use of Twi---r through the years (as throngs of the common now rush to embrace the technology), I’ll be the first to admit that Twi---r had been an incredibly powerful mechanism for communicating with like-minded individuals. It’s also been an extremely effective path toward misunderstanding. Oddly, Twi---r is asynchronous in a synchronous kind of way – chat that’s not – and an entertaining, thought provoking, engagingly creative outlet that’s a simple way to crowd-source, a near-perfect marketing tool, and a potentially colossal waste of time.
Hmmm. Maybe that’s why we love it.
Because it is incredibly human: fleeting, sometimes thoughtless, but with flashes of absolute brilliance. (But, sheesh, it’s not like IRC ever got this much attention.)
I guess my biggest complaint/worry about Twi---r (and every other piece of abused technology out there) is that in our modern and extremely complex world, it’s become far too easy to lose sight of what’s really important in life.
Priorities, man! Because like it or not, our time on this globe is finite, and even Twi---r unrelentingly takes its toll.
Just last week, for example, Alec Couros (clearly one of the bright minds and powerful advocates of the educational purposes of social media), cheerfully published his 20,000th tw--t.
With that kind of number of THE_REAL_SHAQ proportions, the math freak in me couldn’t help crunching the numbers. Extremely conservative in my estimations, I threw out the final tally, laced with one golden question:
20,000 tweets, 10 seconds per tweet = over 55 hours just sending tweets. Has it been worth it?
In an act undeniably surprising to me, his 20,000th tw--t clued us all in on the real things of value in his life:
Mom http://twurl.nl/zk6zqg Dad http://twurl.nl/nxlvv1 Wife http://twurl.nl/ztyo8u Kids http://twurl.nl/rmhupp Bacon. Happy 20,000.
You see, my guess is that the real treasures in Dr. Couros’ life – the things that really matter most – aren’t the latest tools, the theories he defends, or even the Twi---r followers he’s kindly guided along. The real deal, for him, appears to be the relationships that he’s formed at home: The very relationships he might easily ignore while taking the time to tw--t. Well, at least I know that I’ve been guilty of such an offense.
But haven’t we ALL?
Because it’s not really just Twi---r. It seems to be EVERYTHING, strangely amplified by technology: Twi---ring during board meetings, texting during church, browsing the feeds when you should probably be playing catch with your kid, and ultimately focusing on the distant rather than those treasures which exist right under your very nose.
Which brings us back to my golden question, a question whose answer – at least for me – has yet to be fully determined:
Is it really all worth it?
In my life, I think the key to happiness has rarely, if ever, been technology. Rather, happiness and success have nearly always been the result of a simple, keen focus on both balance and priority. While admittedly imperfect, I can still honestly say that I’ve tried very hard to live by this one simple rule:
- Never allow something good to take the place of something that is better. For when that which is good replaces that which is better, then that which is good becomes evil.
Balance. Priorities. Life.