When Bob Dylan wrote about the times that were a changin' way back in 1964, he was referring to social change. The same could be said today about change in social media. Surprisingly, even an iconic throwback like Dylan has a Twitter account -- proof that the social media boom has reached nearly every corner of popular culture. These days the line between what should and shouldn't be shared from a person's personal life has become blurred. Couples broadcast intimate details about their love lives on Facebook. Celebrities and average joes alike tweet about everything from what they had for breakfast to the quality of their latest bathroom experience.
Aside from the drivel, there are also privacy issues at stake, with parents innocently posting pictures of their children for all to see, or announcing vacation plans so every seedy character in the neighborhood knows exactly when a home is left unattended. Some users may have a full understanding of how social media works and its implications. But others may not realize just how much they're opening their lives up for the perusal of strangers. When it comes to sharing on social media sites, there are few rules. That's why in an instant you find out what movie Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore saw last night or where Shaquille O'Neal is currently "chillin'."
With the invention of the Twapler, things have either reached a new high or new low, depending on which side of the social media fence you fall on. What exactly is the Twapler? It's an invention by a pair of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs -- a stapler that automatically sends a message via Bluetooth or WiFi to a Twitter feed detailing exactly what you're stapling at any given moment. Whether you're joining together a research project, tax forms or your divorce papers, the Twapler will send out a message for eager tweeters to revel in.
We'll take a look at how this new invention works, the inspiration behind it, and the potential marketability (or lack thereof) on the following pages.