We are addicted to nothing. Wait, let me rephrase that: we’re addicted to being addicted. No, that’s not really it. We’re addicted to “the next thing.” Or more accurately, the “next bunch of things.” What those things are is irrelevant. We actually don’t care about their substance. We just care that they are:
- Brand spankin’ new
- Never seen before
- Not old
We’re addicted to the delta; to the unread stuff that we haven’t found yet that constantly flows at us from seemingly everywhere.
- Inbox (11)
Look far more satisfying than this:
Look how pale and skinny the empty Inbox looks. Nothing new to offer. For all we know, most of those eleven new messages are either spam or drivel. It doesn’t matter. They’re brand new. They’re an unopened gift. They’re yet another little surprise. And most importantly, they come from other people. Nobody cares about new stuff that comes from machines (not yet at least).
If your inbox is cocaine. Twitter is crack cocaine. It feeds the same beast far more effectively. The constant-ness and ever-newness of Twitter is what makes it so wildly popular. It’s not about the substance of each of those tweets. None are very life-changing. It’s about the sheer volume of stuff that is constantly produced.
I follow 50 people on Twitter. With all due respect to this esteemed group, nothing anyone says is very interesting. Wait, some of it is sort of interesting…for a moment. Sometimes I smirk. Sometimes I click through to a link. But generally speaking, it’s all a bunch of frivolous bullshit coming at me. It’s stuff flying across the CNN ticker constantly. Developing Story. It never really stops developing does it? It just goes on and on.
And yet I’m hooked. I’m hooked to the delta of stuff that I’ve missed since I last checked. As soon as I consume it, it’s all old and stale and I get hit with a tinge of sadness. That’s how addictions go I guess.
I’ll just have to wait for another hit.