One of the best things about Twitter is being able to connect with individuals in other countries. Yet despite Twitter and other social media platforms connecting us in unprecidented ways, some say the world isn’t getting as small as we would believe.
It was natural for localization (as opposed to globalization) to occur when economies plunged in 2008, as countries turned inward to figure out how to rebuild. Nevertheless, the ability for individuals to reach across country borders to have their voices heard despite their countries explicit or implicit decision to hunker down pushed relatively new technology platforms from infancy to adolescence, and created fuel for the slew of IPO’s and mergers this year.
Skype, Twitter, and Facebook have replaced handwritten letters, broadcast journalism as our only (and quickest) news source, and even email to a certain extent.
These and other platforms have enabled us to learn from the reaction of citizens to austerity measures in the UK and Greece, to see the honest truth of revolution in Egypt, and even to hear one person’s perspective on sounds in the middle of the night that turned out to be the US raid on Bin Laden’s compound.
Revisiting old patterns of thinking and hearing the same opinions from within the same circles will not move technology, innovation and thought forward — and subsequently, growth. It’s engagement with other people who have different points of views, and different issues to solve, that may help foster innovation and growth.
It was exciting for me as a intern at Texas Instruments to connect with an intern in South Africa. We exchanged letters and pictures, and thoughts on current events in the 90’s. I’m sure this created new neuropathways that made for better critical thinking and more unique ideas for products.
As Washington asks us to do our part in fueling the recovery, one step may be to globalize your Twitter list. You may find that it’s like walking into a huge candy store like Dylan’s, except this candy will nourish your brain.