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Posted on: Friday, 21 October 2011 by Rajiv Popat

Facebook and twitter were hailed as revolutionary because they brought instant publishing to every cell phone.

The game is simple, you stare at an empty text box which says "what's on your mind", you impulsively write something and your tiny world of relatives, colleagues, well wishers and acquaintances responds back... equally impulsively.

Science on the other hand believes that what makes writing so different from practically most other forms of communications i.e. talking, thinking aloud etc. is that when you are writing more of your prefrontal-cortex (the bit of your brain responsible for executive decisions) is involved than when you think or speak.

Put simply, the act of writing takes the impulsivity out of the problem and introduces objectivity, there by letting you dissect and analyze the problem from different aspects.

The mere act of pausing a bit and composing your thoughts in cohesive paragraphs, or forcing yourself to write continuously using a timer and then editing out the noise before you publish, let's your brain dwell on the problem, really focus on what's important and produce rich and meaningful content.

Instant publishing might have it's uses when you are reporting an incident as it unfolds in front of you, but the ability to "instant publish" depressing messages, Farmville requests, random one liners, links that most people can Google anyways or forwarded email jokes ultimately does more harm than good to your brain.

Before you hit that post button on twitter or Facebook, ask your self if that can turn into a structured, well polished article, blog post, white paper, package or any other art form born out of a coherent thought stream that might actually educate, add value, solve a real problem or inspire someone.

If the answer is yes, you are much better off, writing it, editing it, packaging it and shipping it as a blog post, article, white paper or packaging it as a solution. Even if it isn't instant.

If the answer is no, why were going to publish it anyway?

Just because you can publish anything instantly doesn't mean you should.