Kevin Smith's talk at MacWorld on Thursday afternoon began as one would expect, full of filmmaker talk and adult humor. His structure basically was answering questions from the audience, and had little to do with technology, and less still to do with Apple. However, in a response that was concerned with the types of stories that interest him when he is making films, he revealed the extent that tech has influenced him. With Podcasts and Twitter, his opportunity to publicly discuss certain subjects has meant that he does not feel that he needs to include them in his films.
For example, in one of his films from the nineties, "Chasing Amy," Smith's screen-side persona, Silent Bob, parts with his namesake lack of dialogue for a single monologue. That monologue is made up of a single, heartfelt anecdote which explains the title, and is most likely the most self-indulgent moment of the film. As Smith referred to it today, he would never have put something like that into a film that he would make today, because he has all these other methods of public discussion available to him on an instantaneous basis.
The effect of Twitter on film has mostly been measured in the categories of advertising and marketing, but this brings it to a new area. The idea that Kevin Smith can shoot out a tweet that contains some pretentious, silly, or scandalous sentiment, and that affects his later films was his point, in passing.
Social media often seems to only affect people in superficial ways, but affecting an artist's process certainly raises the bar on cultural relevancy.