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Can snacking on Twitter change how you think?

I have decided that opening Twitter and peeking at the stream is like going to the cupboard for just a little snack… when I’m not exactly starving or anything — at all — but still, just a little nibble of something tasty and fun would be nice as a break… wonder what Mom has in the cupboard?

Ideas as food… words as food… information as food.

During Father’s Day lunch today, we got to talking a bit about careers, passions, mastery, life goals, etc. — some of that intense father-children stuff that tends to come up at milestone points in life. I have always had a notoriously difficult time explaining in clear words exactly what it is that I want to “do” during my life, what I want.

But one of the things I AM absolutely sure that I want to achieve in my life, is a feeling of satiation, like that at the end of an excellent, hearty, well-balanced meal. I want to feel that I have really, really CHEWED on something substantial… or multiple things… have really really gnawed at it, delved into it, wrestled with it, and have come out the other side — hopefully, ideally, also leaving something behind in return, making some kind of ultimate contribution to the overall flow.

When I say “something,” I particularly mean ideas, and the words that express them — for these are, for me, my most essential, satiating, favorite foods of all. And it really is the food-and-digestion-like chewing and processing sensation that resonates most viscerally, when I think about this (versus “merely” acquisition or application of knowledge).

I have joked, in the past, that I am like an aging mainframe computer in an increasingly distributed world. Overall, for instance, I still tend to gravitate a bit more to the weight and processed density of books and magazine articles, over rapid-fire Tweets and short-form blog posts.

My mainframe-like tendencies might be a weakness today — or maybe not (I am still pondering this question, will come back to it later) — but what I am definitely sure of is that I simply enjoy the sensation of sitting down and really wrestling with a lot of things “in-house,” so to speak, internally — not just outsourcing and sound-byting and being “in the flow,” “in the conversation,” etc. (These are not mutually exclusive, of course.)

I wonder if my mind is malleable enough to actually change what I enjoy most and feel that I am best at (most likely, these very preferences and feelings are merely a product of my various experiences and exposure to date)… I wonder if I can/could actually train myself to “think” in a much more short-form, outsourced, collaborative, distributed way, and could perhaps even come to find that just as enjoyable and satiating…? I have not (yet, at least) decided that I want to do this, but I am very curious about what is possible.

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