The Soul of the Internet

I don’t know whether or not human beings have souls, and frankly, I’m not interested in that debate right now. What I do know, however, is that the Internet has a soul

Now, I know you are probably thinking that I have gone off the rails yet again. How is it possible that the Internet, a collection of data, really, can have a soul? How does that make any sense?

Consider Twitter.

Twitter allows for quick and easy communication between virtual strangers. Yes, distilled down to its essence, it is just yet another social media tool, akin to Facebook or MySpace but with a couple of differences. These are intimacy, and immediacy.

The biggest difference between Twitter and many other social media tools is that you do not have to be at your computer to use Twitter. You can use your cell phone to send text messages, or use a service such as Jott.com or Utterz.com to update your status. This means that you can send messages from anywhere, anywhere in the world, at any time, no matter what is happening to you. What is remarkable is that so many people are doing this in extraordinary ways.

I have been virtually present at the birth of several children, following excitedly along as nervous fathers send quick messages about how things are progressing. I have also been virtually present for less pleasant things; confessions, sudden realizations, and even for the recent and tragic death of a loved one

Not only can Twitter be anywhere your cell phone is, but the focus is on pure information. There are no games to play, no music to listen to, it is a purely textual connection between people, people who share their highs and lows, their most beautiful moments and their most terrible, as they happen

So, how then do I compare this to the soul of the Internet? Simple. Twitter is allowing for the increased connection between people, and the increased empathy of users. On no other platform have I seen groups so quickly mobilize to help each other. It is about people helping people, and all of this empathy, all of this energy, all of these human connections are getting sourced through Twitter. Twitter is becoming a giant repository for the love, compassion and understanding humans have for one another. It is making connections, friendships and partnerships. Everyday I see the best of people, all played out on Twitter.com.

How can it not be the soul of the Internet?