The text version of hanging out

There is a place for micro-blogging (such as with Twitter), and not just for hyper-communicative youth or parents on business trips who use it to keep in constant, drive-by touch with their kids. Fascinatingly,
Clive Thompson at Wired calls it "social proprioception" – the social version of the hand knowing what the foot's doing. He writes that Twitter "gives a group of people a sense of itself…. It's almost like ESP…. You know who's overloaded … and who's on a roll…. Twitter substitutes for the glances and conversations we had before we became a nation of satellite employees." This is in contrast to past claims that the Net isolates us from one another, and it's where the social Web is heading, Clive suggests. He also offers a good reason for why it's widely misunderstood: It's "experiential" – you can't just view it to understand, you have to do it with a group of friends or colleagues, people with shared lives or interests. Dipping into it from the outside is like walking in on the hanging-out banter of a group of close teenaged friends – you not only need to know a bit about what they're talking about, you need to know them to understand what's going on.

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