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Discussion on: About time

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r0f1 profile image
Florian Rohrer

Thank you for your article, Vicky! Great read.

You wrote What is the return value of opening up the Twitter app? ... The concrete answer is that there isn't one. I disagee with that last statement. If you solely talk about the information that you are getting out of browsing, then sure, the information you get is most of the time next to worthless. You don't live your live differently if you see that some celebrity got a baby or some politician made an outrighteous claim or that a new investigation found that there has been a data breach at company X.

I think there is a return value: Entertainment. You (and with you, of course, I mean everbody) just want to be entertained. Entertained with funny memes, high speed cooking videos and videos of cats falling down the stairs. And entertained with new things: New stories about the world, new studies that came out, new products that will be launched, new events that are happening soon.

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Victoria Drake Author

Thanks Florian! I'm glad you brought that up and gave me the opportunity to expand on that point.

It's certain that you're entertained by endlessly scrolling through Twitter - the point I mean to make is that it's endless. Entertainment doesn't stop at a singular value in the same way getting a coffee does, but consumes time open-ended. There's no incentive to say "Okay, I've had enough entertainment now," and stop - outside of interruption from external factors, or by the force of that same willpower that these apps are designed to undermine.