The following are excerpts from lab notes taken by psychologist Dr. I. M. Nuts and sociologist Dr. R. U. There. Their study was on the effect of microblogs on human personalities. It should be noted that while Twitter was used for this experiment, Plurk is better.
Subject looked confused. “Micro what? Is that like MySpace?”
Subject was made aware of the microblogging format. Created an account and posted “Trying out Twitter. Is this any good?” Added everyone in the computer lab to their “Following” list. Did not log in again for three weeks.
Subject asked a question on Twitter. Surprised to actually get a meaningful answer within five minutes, subject began checking Twitter daily. “Followed” list expanded to fifty people.
Subject changed cell phone plan to include unlimited text messages in order to microblog from any location without spending a lot of money. “Followed” list expanded to 150 people, including several imaginary ones like Darth Vader and Fake Steve Jobs.
Subject is posting regularly on Twitter, with more than 100 posts per day. Conversations range from links to cute kittens with funny words under their pictures to deep philosophical conversations. Subject seemed reluctant to visit for the mid-point interview though. Asked “Can’t you just send me direct messages on Twitter?”
Subject’s microblog postings per day have expanded to more than 300. Postings like “Brushing my teeth” are common. Occasionally posts “At a red light.”
Interview 6: 1,000 posts a day. Posts like “Brushing my teeth” are now preceded with “Getting the toothpaste” and followed with “Rinsing.” With the inclusion of posts like “Changing lanes” several friends got together to perform an intervention. Those friends were removed from the subject’s “Followed” list.
Subject was too agitated during the exit interview at the end of the study, most likely due to the poor cell phone coverage and lack of computers in the interview room. Insisted on beginning each sentence with “@DrNuts” or “@DrThere,” depending on who the subject was talking to. Seemed mentally unable to talk to any staff member if their name was unknown.
Subject is recovering nicely in the local hospital’s mental health wing. We are optimistic that the subject will one day be able to enter an Amish community and continue to live a long and healthy life with minimal nervous twitches.