In following a series of links about Twitter and its potential, I landed on this great
post from Leisa Reichelt. But rather than talking about the technology,
Leisa takes the human side, talking about how this technology can
influence and affect our behaviours and emotions. Twitter, she says, is
a form of "ambient intimacy":

Ambient
intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level
of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to,
because time and space conspire to make it impossible. Flickr lets me
see what friends are eating for lunch, how they’ve redecorated their
bedroom, their latest haircut. Twitter tells me when they’re hungry,
what technology is currently frustrating them, who they’re having
drinks with tonight.

But the Twitter-stream can go way beyond
ambience. It goes to the heart of social currency, and also to driving
a deeper and more trusted connection between people. For example, the
other day I was scanning my Twitter feed, smiling at the short
conversations that would pop-up. One was a short burst from my friend Luc
who was just taking his princess to the park. That short snapshot
stayed with me … and even though I did not respond (it was, after all
about 5 hours ago), it made me think of Luc and his family out for a
stroll. It made me smile.

And this has a clear emotional impact. It is the stuff of life. And
it helps us keep in touch with each other moment by moment … even
when the timezones or planets do not align.