Hey kids, keeping this nostalgia train rolling, here's another Classic Still Playing with Toys article resurrected from the depths of March 10, 2010. Enjoy!
If there's one thing that I've learned having suddenly found myself unknowingly in the world of marketing buzzwords, "social networking is changing everything." Indeed, things like AIM, Facebook, and Twitter have changed a great deal in our day to day lives, but I got to thinking... you know what? Twitter is literally just the new CB radio... come back?
Let's be honest, who doesn't want to be Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit?
The dude has a solid defined personality; he's beloved all over the CB radio by his well-known call sign, he has a way of breaking up Sally Field's marriages, he has a cool hat, cool car, and when the Bandit calls out on the CB for help - everyone responds.
Everyone wants to be the Bandit.
You sign up for Twitter, you "follow" people under their designated usernames/call signs/codenames, you throw out news and opinions as you see them, chat in fragments with people you don't know, and when something's going on - you "scan the dial" to find out more information.
The thought occurs to me each and every time that I log in to Twitter to search for news before it's broken anywhere else - for example as I pass what appears to be a convention of cops on Santa Monica Blvd. and quickly log into Twitter to read how "Wampa261" just witnessed an gunpoint standoff mere blocks and minutes before I had passed by. How did I find out about Corey Haim's passing this morning, where's the first place I check now for Avalanche game updates, where is the first place I went when a weird lady interrupted the Oscar winner for feature-length screenplay and I was left saying "WTF, mate?"
Not Google, not a message board, not Facebook, not a phone call to a friend... in two seconds, I can find hundreds of people talking about anything and everything just by logging in and doing a quick scan of Twitter. It's instantaneous, in fact - much like the internet made print newspapers and magazines scramble to retool themselves, it's sort of interesting how our social lives are suddenly shifting now that we have this instantaneous source of information.
I literally knew about Corey Haim's passing the SECOND that I woke up - my iPhone, which also acts as my alarm, sent me push notifications from Twitter that a friend had direct messaged me with the news at three in the morning... crazy...
"What's going on across the street on Hollywood Blvd.? There are cop cars everywhere and they're not letting people walk the sidewalk..." Log in to Twitter... in 140 characters or less, you read that someone has committed suicide at the Hollywood and Highland Center. It's that instant. When my parents and I were stuck on I-70 coming down from the mountains over Christmas Break, we weren't glued to the radio waiting for a traffic report, I was literally Twittering with people that were ten miles ahead reporting the road closures and tunnel conditions. Eyewitness reporting to a frightening level. I've read that emergency services are now trying to find ways to utilize Twitter... can you imagine how quickly the "emergency broadcast system" will be implemented into a service like Twitter or Facebook once they figure it out? The revolution isn't going to be televised; it's going to be sent through the tubes...
I'm just in complete awe how; in the time between I started high school and today, things have changed so drastically. I've gone from wanting a "super-cool" neon landline phone in my bedroom and not having a cell phone, to suddenly no longer having a landline and not knowing what I'd do without my cell phone. I've gone from being yelled at by the parents for being connected to AOL for too long to being connected at all times, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Communication has been made easy, quick, and to the point (which has been a blessing and a bane for someone who really has always felt awkward on lengthy phone conversations... I won't even go into how being connected 24/7 has changed relationships and dating, because even I can't figure out how you're supposed to do it anymore).
It's crazy, Betty...
It really makes you wonder... what's next? Ten years from now, when I'm receiving a heads up display in my contact lenses and my girlfriend or wife is trying to chat with me all day when I'm at work through the implanted audio chip in my head - will I be writing a similar post about how the implant chip is just like Twitter? Seriously, where are things heading? And buzzword filled day job: please don't make me answer that question... let's leave it up to the people that have advanced it this far so quickly, eh?