Monday, June 2, 2008

Twittering

The word has been in the wind, now the newspapers are writing about it so it must be a trend. It's twittering. I will say, upfront, I have yet to try twittering. With curiosity, I read the news article and then went to the Twitter site, but I have to admit I'm still unclear on the draw. (They do, however, have an incredibly clever video introducing twitter with simple paper cut outs that make me feel much better about my drawing skills...)
They say it's a way to stay in touch with friends, longer than a text, shorter than a blog entry or an IM. Between Facebook, a Blog, potentially a website and texting, does anyone have time to twitter? What can they twitter about other than the fact that they are keeping up with their blog/text/IM/website? Do I really need to know that my friend went to Starbucks at 2 pm today or sat down and read a book at 7?
The change in what being "social is" is interesting. People say we are more disconnected, technology is a way to connect. In general, I agree. There are people I am in touch with from college and even highschool that I may never have reconnected with had we not had email, or even facebook. Twitter may be much the same, but frankly, I'm technologied out. Must we really share every detail of our lives with potentially 500 or 1000 contacts? (numbers mentioned in the newspaper article)
I will also admit that these sites raise the bar on cleverness. Anyone on Facebook knows that "drinking a cup of coffee" is not really the answer to "what are you doing?" Catchy phrases are definitely preferred "jonesing for a java in janestown" (ok, it's still not that catchy, that's why I have social networking anxiety) So now, if I want to tell my friends about the play I saw the book I read or the fact that I walked in the woods, I need to: get to the appropriate technology, be witty, post it, then go on with the next witty and wonderful thing on my calendar.
For now, my answer to "what are you doing?" is "contemplating a twitterless life." Sad, but true.

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