I was on the phone with my sister-in-law, a teacher in Sri Lanka, who complained that many young people are losing their ability to hold conversations, just while I was reading something at BBC, where the co-founder of Twitter, Evan Williams states that Twitter intends it to facilitate an “open exchange of information.” I take it he means more dialog, better communication.
She: These people have way too much information in their heads and on their phones that they don’t communicate.
He: “Our goal at Twitter is to be a force for good”
She: “They don’t know how to write anymore, ..all this texting.”
He: “I think it will be how you get personal, customised information from every entity you care about, from your local café to your government, from your politician to your friends and family.”
I know we all see different parts of the anatomy of this elephant in the room. I promote micro-blogging as a way to connect the dots, and integrate with other forms of communication. But not at the expense of analog or ‘old media’ tools. Sometimes, the best way to chat is to pick up the phone, or walk over to the person in the next room or cubicle.
My eternal challenge to communicators is: When was the last time you wrote a letter?
Writing fires up different circuits in the brain. I subscribe to the idea that ‘writing is decision-making‘ with a specific person or narrow audience in mind. Not just sending off random thoughts in 140 characters. I love what Mr. Williams’ company has opened up. I just hope it makes people better communicators, not message generators.