Clive Thompson did an interview with The New Yorker on the impacts of the impact of today’s social media and constant connectedness. He has this to say about the power of thinking in the social era:
A huge amount of our everyday thinking—powerful, creative, and resonant stuff—is done socially: talking to other people, arguing with them, relying on them to recall information for us. This has been true for aeons in the offline world. But now we have new ways to think socially online—and to do so with likeminded folks around the world, which is still insanely mind-blowing. It never stops being lovely for me.
Many people criticize our generation’s tendencies to become wrapped up in the internet and social media. Now that everyone has a computer run their pocket, it’s hard not to. However, I strongly agree with Clive that the good of digital connection outweighs the bad.
Twitter is, to many people, a place to waste time and goof off with friends. But Twitter can also be a place to interact, learn, and expand our creative outreach. I am heavily influenced by the people that I follow online, and I am sure that many others are too.
As long as we surround ourselves with things online that are worthwhile, than the value we will take from those things will be worthwhile as well. Conversations and social thinking expand our knowledge and understanding, and the internet is the best place to have some of those interactions.