Tweeting Alone: 3 Reasons Why You Should Invite People for Coffee

by Augusto Cuginotti

Egypt - Power to the People
There is a great influence of social media on how human beings relate in society today – I left newspapers for twitter and follow a number of different voices around the globe – as diverse as I want them to be – and they show not only multiple truths when I used to have few available, but also allow shortcuts from classical intermediates: I can read about Egypt from my Egyptian friends and the Arabic authors they tweet about, not only through mainstream Western networks.

Yes, you know that – but I want to talk about the other great influence – the influence of those different voices creating a ever increasing multitude of monologues and a decreasing space for real dialogues to happen. Even though we are tweeting together, I think we are all tweeting alone.

Reasons I think people tweet alone:

① People tweet alone to gain capital. Only tweeting alone you loose perspective.
The understanding of encounter in social networks is the gain of social or intellectual capital, a feeling of community born from the creation of ‘weak links’ that are understood as a flexible and resilient organisational structure. Fair enough – but the real link (even the weak ones) are much more than intellectual. We tend to relate to the intellectual bits that are either in accordance to ours or in direct challenge – how about you get surprised connecting to a person in a parallel dimension? That surprise triggers dialogue – but BEWARE – instead of gaining something, you might loose it (and find that loss a blessing).

② People tweet alone because they are relationship-lazy.
Let’s face it – life in the world of zeros and ones require minimum hardware – a computer and a chair will do. Even if other people act weird, you are still only a click away to get rid of them. We can live on with the challenge from virtual games and socialise using our part-selves by managing our profiles. All this and forget other parts of us that exist, parts that only come out during meaningful relationships. Relationships that matter does not have to be ‘strong links’, just have to involve the whole of ourselves – much harder if we can escape riding a mouse.

③ People tweet alone because they think they are tweeting together.
And they are, until a certain extent. But as I said in the beginning, it’s more like a huge group of monologues happening, some interact to each other, but still holding monological positions. True dialogue is an encounter of full-feature human beings and they do not happen through our lonely heads expressed in words or other kind of media. There will be lots of inspiration in what we see on the web, but hardly an inspiration built together, the ones that emerge on the spot and are a result of an open dialogue. On this level, there is no tweeting together.

There are plenty of reasons for us to keep going with the interconnected monologue of tweeting together, and some say that perhaps we should – – ✖ , but even if we do, it is clear that other parts of us also need some attention.

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Pictures by Tackver and Josh Liba on Flickr