Will Twitter make us dumber?

twitter-logoThe world is all atwitter about Twitter. It seems like we can’t get enough of the ubiquitous communications tool. I have a Twitter account, but I’ll confess that I use it more out of morbid fascination than for practical use – and here’s why – it distracts me.

Mark Cuban wrote on his blog recently that he couldn’t figure out where people got the time to tweet one another. I”m with Mark. But what gets me is that it generally interrupts me when I’m doing something productive. Come on, hands up those who have been neck deep in a project only to be interrupted by a tweet that reads: “deciding whether to have chicken or fish for dinner”.

It used to be that the key performance indicator at work was how many times your were interrupted by colleagues during the day (that includes unnecessary meetings). Then it progressed into the amount of email you received. A study was even done in 2005 to link the drop in IQ points to the amount of times someone checked his email at work. After I read that study I started shutting off my email in the middle of the day. Then came SMS, and now Twitter.

I understand that connectivity has its merits. But if copious email is proven to make you dumber, where will Twitter take us?