Twitter as a tool for thinking

Charles Fernyhough:

But I suspect that I also use Twitter to think out loud. I’ve written previously on this blog about children’s private speech, and how it seems to be their medium of thinking before verbal thought becomes internalized. I wonder whether I use Twitter for some of the same purposes. Talking to yourself seems to have many different functions, for adults as well as children. For one thing, it can express feelings. Many of children’s private utterances seem to have a function in emotion expression and regulation. I don’t have any data on the topic, but I suspect that a decent proportion of tweets involve people saying that they are happy, sad, excited or angry. A comment like ‘Wow, I wish this delivery guy would show’ can get a frustration off your chest while clearing mental space for the next thing.

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