Does Twitter make us dumb, or just lazy?

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I have to wonder if we Twitterers are all in such a rush to be first to pass on a news story that we've lost the ability to actually absorb what we read.

This morning, a story entitled "Twitter Unveils New Premium Accounts" popped up on a site called BBspot. For the rest of the day I watched Tweet after Tweet come across Twitter 'announcing' this news (check out a Twitter search). Quite a few times, a second Tweet would follow a short time later saying "Um, nevermind." Because the story was a joke.

It was painfully obvious that it was a joke to anyone who (gasp!) actually read it. (It was also pretty funny – do read it as soon as you're done reading this!) Check out this quote and explain to me how anyone who read, or even skimmed, the article could have taken it seriously:

Users in any tier will be able to purchase an EmbellishTwit add-on for $100/year, which directs tweets to a well-educated offshore employee who will embellish tweets. For example, "Just had a whole wheat bagel and coffee for breakfast," becomes "Just got in from clubbing all night and Heidi Klum is spreading brie on a baguette just flown in on the Concord for my breakfast."

If somehow you still were wondering whether or not the story was legit, a click on the "About" tab of the site would have informed you that BBspot was "called 'the world's greatest tech humour site' by The Register." They list no source for the news nor is any effort made to legitimize the story in any way.

Just to cover my own backside, here're my two Tweets on the story from early this morning.

Come on, people! When you start spreading stuff like this around as being true, you just make the entire Twitter community look ignorant. Remember, read, THEN tweet!

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