The perception of reality now depends upon the structure of information. . . These perceptual transformations, the new ways of experiencing that each medium creates, occur in the user regardless of the program content. This is what the paradox, "the medium is the message," means. Marshall McLuhanImmersion in the social stream shrinks the perception of now to a tiny window focused on the approaching horizon. "What's new?" used to be a question of days or weeks. But in an information environment of pervasive connection the scope of what's new shrinks to hours, minutes or even seconds.
The average lifespan of a tweet is about one hour. News, comments and conversations fall like tiny pebbles into our Twitter feeds, G+ circles and Facebook walls, rippling in replies, comment threads and retweets for brief instants before being replaced by hundreds and thousands more. The timeframe of a "current event" has shrunk to the ever-moving real-time present, elevating timeliness over depth, brevity over substance, and frequency over quality.
This bubbling brew of endless emergence is spilling over into our perception of the physical world. Instead of introspectively appreciating experiences for their intrinsic value, immersion in the social stream moves us to experience life as a platform for social sharing. The events of our lives become shareable moments moving inch by inch down our Facebook walls until they are buried in depths where only search spiders travel.