Jim Stogdill muses on the emotional and cognitive dissonance produced when realtime messaging systems allow conversation without context:
Since the advent of Twitter I’ve often found myself laughing at funerals, crying at parties, and generally failing time and again to say the right thing. Twitter is so immediate, so of the moment, but it connects people across the globe who may be experiencing very different moments. [...]
For many of us even here in the East, Sandy is basically over. We are fortunate. We have power, food in the refrigerator, and a place to brew our coffee. But all over New Jersey and New York this remains far from true. The storm will be millions of people’s primary context for weeks to come. I can’t help but wonder what it must be like to risk a bit of carefully hoarded smart phone battery, while separated from the flood-ravaged street by flight after flight of dark staircase, to take a quick glance at Twitter only to see “OMFG, will Disney put mouse ears on Darth Vader?”
This is hardly a new phenomenon, but the dissonance does seem more intimate now, more in-your-face.