Panning for gold

Scratch pad

Is Twitter a digital, public scratch pad?

People use journals to unclutter the mind, discard the mental flotsam to free themselves to concentrate on what's important. Yet they get called scratch pads, confused with those places that are supposed to be the birthplace of our plans and schemes.

How many ideas do we throw out on Twitter that could grow into something more if we wrote them down somewhere and mulled them over?

How often do we go back over our tweets to find those sparks and reignite them, fan the flames until we have something deeper?

Don't get me wrong, I love Twitter - over the past 10 years it has been the one network I always come back to. I may have stopped tweeting at times but the raw, real time nature of it always brings me back.

Still, I can't help wondering how it affects me.


We offload our thoughts to these outboard memories but never access them again. The stream flows on and the ideas are washed away with the banal, the laments, and the sewage.

Occasionally, someone may scour the stream and find a pearl of our wisdom like a prospector optimistically panning for gold, but when are we ever that prospector sifting through the muck for discarded nuggets in our own stream?

Panning for gold