Hundreds of Millions of people around the globe have a new modern illness called Diminished Intellectual Capacity and Knowledge Starvation or DICKS for short. Tweetism, however seems to be the popular handle for the newly named illness, and as the name implies people can get it from overusing social media.
Dr. Wilma Shelby, head of neurology at Chicago Medical Center and discoverer of the new ailment, talked to this reporter by phone.
"Decades ago my colleagues were theorizing about the MTV generation and short attention spans, and later studies confirmed those theories about how electronics and entertainment affect them. What we're seeing now is a further diminution of already short attention spans and even more permanent brain rewiring patterns in the severe DICKS sufferers."
So does that mean that everyone who is a prolific Tweeter has Tweetism? Not necessarily says Dr. Shelby.
"It's like asking, 'is everyone who drinks on the weekend an alcoholic?' So you see it's not that simple: like moderate drinkers, most moderate Tweeters are not overly affected by that aspect of their lives, but probably about half of heavy Tweeters have some sort of permanent brain changes and personality changes as well."
"But let me say it's not just Twitter, it's our entire culture of "now, now, now," and our media choices that are doing this--and the disease and the technologies are feeding into each other at a much more rapid pace: Now you've got ARGH! a new social media site where you can only post five syllables at a time. People suffering with a DICKS shortened attention span can't even listen to an album anymore or watch an entire movie. One of our test subjects when left on his own never listened to more than 15 or 20 seconds of any song on his playlist before moving on to another, or doing something else like sending a text or a Tweet."
This reporter asked Dr. Shelby the question that by now everyone wants to know, does President Trump have Tweetism?
"Well, it's not for me to say who does or doesn't have Tweetism, It's not fair to try and diagnose a person without examining them. But in your daily interactions one of the warning signs to look out for would be someone who is tired all the time because they are losing sleep from Tweeting at odd hours, or even staying up all night to Tweet."
"OK, here's another: Most people would avoid a conflict over small things like, 'he said, she said,' and so forth, but Tweetism sufferers will prolong a Tweet or social media war just for the rush of the conflict, I suppose for some people it is the joy of battle."
Dr. Shelby left us with a short list of other signs that may signal someone is suffering from Tweetism:
- Keeps at least one hand in pocket at all times to tweet undetected: People suffering from Tweetism or Diminished Intellectual Capacity and Knowledge Starvation can Tweet with one hand and just by touch.
- Cannot let small disagreements go on social media or in conversations, if they can still have conversations...
- Avoids social activity in favor of spending more time on social media.
- A sudden change in personality, always for the worse.
- Misspells and uses phonetic spellings at inappropriate times.
- Uses multiple devices and multiple social media.
- A sudden loss or gain in body weight.