Is Twitter the new Id?
It seems Twitter is undergoing a freshly renewed interest, probably sparked by press speculation of it being bought out. That, together with added celebrity gravitas in the likes of Barack Obama, Stephen Fry, and Jonathan Ross and other celebrities (John Cleese, Dave Gorman, James May, Graham Linehan, Robert Llewelyn to name but a few – if of course these people are who they say the are) delving in to make their otherwise everyday humdrum activities almost “must see” viewing (or reading).
I was there when Stephen Fry got stuck in that lift, and when Wossy talked about which word he might try and slip into the BAFTA proceedings. So too were their ever increasing number of followers and friends who are twittering in to hear the almost inner thoughts of people, that the like of you and I, may never get to have a conversation with otherwise.
I should probably mention the Id. Well, the Id is one part of Freuds model of our psyche (the Id also harbored the monster in the excellent “The Forbidden Planet” but that’s another story). Freud explained our psyche as consisting of our ego, the Id (the unorganised driver of our basic needs) and our super-ego. You can read more about it on Wiki: id, ego, and super-ego.
But its not just the celebrity figures. Real help and information can be obtained from Twitter. Got a problem? Twit about it and you can be pretty sure someone somewhere may be able to help you. News services are also available to follow in Twitter giving you brief snippets of news to fill those moments when you really need to know what is going on in the world.
Ok, back to the Id. Twitter operates without any real sense of time, with its linear nature it can often seem completely illogical, and perhaps somewhat infantile in its “roots only” interface (I love it). The almost random nature of conversation, the countless views and counter-views and the ability to “follow” just about anyone and instantly emerge into their world of thoughts and opinions is compelling and almost addictive – appealing to our basic drive to learn.
The almost chaotic nature of Twitter tied with its seemingly simplistic constraints are, nevertheless, creating a sensation that is appealing to the masses, young and old, tech and non-tech. Twitter is tearing down boundaries and becoming highly successful in the process.
What is driving this success? Comparing it to the Id it could perhaps be tapping into our basic instinctive nature to learn and communicate.
For some it could be to share or learn information, for others the ability to get in touch at “street level” with their fans and followers, whilst other may consider it an opportunity to simply vent their thoughts – in the old days we might have told our woes to a complete stranger – and now we can tell it to thousands of them – simultaneously.
Unlike many other communication mediums, Twitter is always dynamic, always changing, and always (mostly) available. No matter what time of day you connect in there is likely to be something going on.
With Twitter we can think quietly to ourselves but out loud to the whole world at the same time. We can consult our shared conscious instead of relying on our inner self and we can vent our frustrations to complete strangers and learn new things as and when we need to. Twitter is the new Id.
Many tools and services have popped up around Twitter in attempts to extend its functionality and bypass some its limitations – I even wrote about some of my favourite ones here: 10 Must Have Productivity Tools For Twitter.