I was pondering the content of this article a few weeks ago, trying to get to grips with what it might mean to be a society of fully mobile individuals, always-on, always-connected. I can't help but feel it has the potential to change us - for better or worse - because it fundamentally alters the way we share and transmit information and engage with each other. Could it be so significant that the importance of the written word elevates itself above that of our innate desire to speak?
This pondering intially started all before our beloved Stephen Fry appeared on Jonathan Ross' talk show (23rd Jan 2009) and reminded us all how much of a twitterer he is. With reckless disregard for the consquences I logged onto Mr. Fry's twitter stream to discover a witty and joyful microscopic bi-hourly stream of what it is to be living the Fry-life, being followed by over 60,000 intrigued individiuals. Naturally I added one to their number (and it has since increased enormously).
At the time of writing, Mr Fry is 2nd in the twitter kingdom for his impressive Followship, while a certain Mr. Obama undeservingly heads the leader board (with a tragically small amount of actual content).
So immediately my mind turned to the thoughts I had been having previously, and to considering what influence does a man with an iphone and 200,000 voyeurs actually wield? What purpose and meaning is in it all? What is it we crave when we spectate on such a beloved figure in such touching detail. And how do we make sense of the paradox of such intimacy, yet such distance and remoteness? Is it doing something to our psyche?
While it remains one of my dearest aspirations to have Mr. Fry over for tea sometime (a cup of Eary Grey and a lip-smackingly good home-made curry), I have to make do with the virtual updates of his walks round Soho, trips to the Mexican visa office and meal choices while filming on set. This is extraordinarily intimate, so much so, that although he has never graced my table, I feel I do know him, I feel I am connected with him, involved in his life. (I wonder if he knows?)
Of course, if he ever replies to any of my twitty interjections, the mirage will be fully complete.
It is all very astonishing, most certainly more revolutionary than evolutionary, since Mother Nature could not have given us these abilities in quite such a short time frame - and therein lies the intrigue. We inhabit the information revolution, it is all around us. We cannot analyse its final outcome, since it is yet to happen. We can only feel our way, experiment with it, embrace it, learn from- and to enjoy it. Either way, in thrusting oneself headlong into this revolution's social web, it becomes captivating. The contribution of my new best pal Mr. Fry is as yet unmeasured, but in stature alone (regardless of content) is most certainly significant.
Where does this leave us in telecoms? Thinking hard about where to earn our lunch, that's where (in contrast to Stephen, who has it provided by the film production company).