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Overtweeting: Are We Becoming Socially Antisocial?

There was a time when there were only two types of thoughts: those that you shared and those that you kept to yourself. Call it discretion, or social etiquette … but learning to interact in any culture mostly meant learning the unwritten rules about how much to share and how much to keep to yourself.

Social media has led to a third type of thought: one that you share with a virtual social network instead of those who you may be interacting with in person. This might lead people, for example, to post a review of a menu item at a restaurant on Facebook instead of sharing that same thought with those who they are dining with.

When you have and share this type of "third thought," the big cultural question is whether this is anti-social behaviour, or just a new kind of social interaction. How much should we focus on being in the moment versus amplifying our experience by sharing and interacting with our virtual social network to add context to our real life interactions and activities? In other words, where is the line?

Each of us needs to answer this question for themselves, but below are some "visual notes" (thanks to Sunni Brown) from a panel discussion I led yesterday at SXSW where we explored this exact question and came up with some interesting conclusions.


See a full collection of nearly 100 visual notes from SXSW created by the ImageThink team sponsored by Ogilvy at >>

3 thoughts on “Overtweeting: Are We Becoming Socially Antisocial?”

  1. Love the section in the sketch that says “would I say this to someone face to face”. Online connecting has allowed us to bypass traditional and create new etiquette.

    We still believe in the power of F2F networking. Check us out at

  2. Rohit, maybe it’s more about the individual’s need to be a “personality” or pseudo celebrity in Cyberspace. If people believe that their network hangs on their every word, isn’t this a type of Narcissism more than anti-social behavior? They are living, reporting, and presenting for their “fan base.”

  3. Great post. For me, tweeting is not antisocial. Tweeting is a good reminders on updates about the latest bids, brand new products, and auction in our site


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Rohit is the author of 10 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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