I had a great conversation with my colleague David Nolen this week about reading and writing being the same thing, essentially. Or how could they be. He’d been wrestling with the idea since he heard it from the Nobel-prize winning French writer J.M.G. Le Clezio who spoke at MSU recently.
Somehow this led to “does Twitter make you stupid” which David posed theoretically, and I, of course, rejected outright.
Twitter makes me smarter and super full of information and super-duper totally connected to everyone and everything all the time (gulp). –me
But, fighting knee-jerk reactions is my specialty, thanks to my father, and drilling down to the essential bits of the “changed-brains” theory that seems to be floating around, there does seem to be this new way of gathering information out there. Whether or not it’s changing brains, we continued to debate.
Thinking about Twitter, I imagine mainlining data. The myths (how could something so new already have myths?) that Twitter is about lunch or contemplating belly buttons is so beyond my experience it’s hard to know where to begin. I am acting as my professional/personal self online. I gather, evaluate and disseminate information (much like olde librarians of yester year). I put myself in my community to be of service to the community. I am still trying to be where my “patrons” are, when they need me. I have internalized my profession and I am actualizing it in this new world.
That being said, I have decided not to check Twitter until I have already accomplished things AT work. NOT to begin reading tweets from my bed via my iPhone as soon as I wake up, as has been my wont. It turns out that if I start mainlining too early, I get into that cloud of data and it’s hard to get back out to think about larger projects. I need that morning time to start thinking about projects at work. To get motivated. So is this an addiction? Or is it just hard to switch between two types of thinking? I don’t know. More to come.