Twitter Me This

Even as I rationalized and defended the excitement and curiosity about Twitter in Biblioblogistan, and enjoyed David Lee King’s “Twitter Explained for Librarians,” I was wary of dipping my own piggies into Twitter. Why?

As much as I’ve gotten a kick out of John Blyberg’s rant against Twitter, it’s not because I think Twitter is “the basest manifestation of the culture and systems it represents.” Personally, I’m not sure Twitter is any more trivial, base or vain than the rest of the internet. I think “base” and “trivial” and, well, “slutty” are in the eye of the beholder. And if people like David Lee King and Rochelle Hartman are getting solid use out of Twitter, than rock, rock on, says I.

But reading Kathy Sierra’s post “Is Twitter TOO good?” really struck a chord with me and nailed why I’m not jumping onto Twitter. And I will admit that it almost certainly says more about me than it does about Twitter itself.

Social software is only useful to me when it leads to and facilitates conversations and connections that are substantive and satisfying to me. The brief, changing Twitter messages don’t do that. Michelle Boule and Jessamyn West have the best IM status messages I’ve seen, but it doesn’t make me feel closer to them, and it really has nothing to do with me personally. Frankly, I don’t want to know and I don’t care what people are doing from moment to moment. What I want is to sit with you all in the same room, down copious amounts of coffee or booze, and enjoy each other’s company. If I can’t have that, I’ll settle for phone calls and emails and IMing, blog posts and comments, wikis, threaded conversations on web forums. I want to hear your crazy stories and listen to your mad ideas and learn your secret origins, and I want to share the same with you. For me, Twitter offers the illusion of connectedness and conversations, without actually giving me what I want and need.

There’s no reason why anyone should care whether or not I dig Twitter, and I pass no judgement on anyone who enjoys it and/or finds it useful. But for me, there is no there there.

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5 thoughts on “Twitter Me This

  1. speaking of, I’ll be back in Kansas next month and we should down copious amounts of something. I like Twitter because it let’s me know my friends are alive and doing inteersting things, but they’re friends, not “friends” and there are a few real life friends that I’ve had to twitter-unfriend because they’re a little *too* twittery.

  2. Absolutely, Jessamyn! Let’s lift our glasses!

  3. I completely agree. I get much more out of face to face conversation than anything else. Even email and IM rank very low as my preferred methods of conversation. Most of the time, if it is something I really want/need to talk about, I ask if I can call or meet. Thanks for articulating some of the thoughts I have been having the past two weeks.

  4. For me there’s candy, and dinner in life. Neither is better than the other, but candy is certainly simpler and more instant in its gratification. I’d say sitting down and hashing real stuff out with people (real people) is more like dinner. It feeds, it nourishes, it is interesting and varied. But candy sure can make things a little sweeter for a minute. For me Twitter is cybercandy. I don’t try to make it more important than that.

  5. Pingback: The OPLIN 4cast » Blog Archive » OPLIN 4cast #47

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