(Originally posted May 25, 2007 on Myspace)
There's a new "phenomenon" out there on the webernet called Twitter. I use quotes because I'm not entirely convinced that it's a real thing that real people are actually doing, or just something that the media (NPR with all its agendas) just picked up on and thought was a phenomenon, the Next Big Thing. Also, I tend to hang with a pretty hip crowd of tech-saavy folks, and I've never heard mention from them of this Twitter thing. Although, perhaps, no one simply wanted to admit they engaged in Tweeting, which is the act of using Twitter. It kind of sounds like a new drug craze, doesn't it? Or a euphemism for a sex act? Either of those possibilities would be more exiting than what Twitter actually is.
) is an evolution of sorts of the blogging mechanic. Now, instead of writing long, rambling entries from your computer (or your cool-ass Helio Ocean
) that bore your audience to death, you can submit short, 140 character-limit entries via test message, IM, or computer. That bore your audience to death. To be fair, only people that sign up to get your sweet tweets delivered to them see what you post, but still. The point of the service seems to be to document the minutia of every day life. Sample public entries on the site right now include:
"Living on the edge!!"
"Funny watching the dog avoid water puddles." and
"llamadas de telefono importanteeeeeeeeeeeesss!!!! pongan shanguitos!!!"
I'm sure that last one was actually important. After all, it had a total of seven exclamation points.
See, here's the thing. I've been keeping an online journal since 2000
, before it was fashionable to do so. One of the things I promised myself from the beginning was that I wouldn't turn my journal into a diary. I wanted to document the interesting moments and thoughts of my life, so that, sure, others could actually find some interest, and yeah, my friends could keep up with what I'm up to in a general sense, but mostly I want to be able to go back and review my own life. And I don't want to be bored to tears. Like this entry from Thanksgiving 2002:
"I'm thankful for a lot of things. Family, friends, my dog. But mainly I'm thankful that snowflakes aren't made of spiders. Thousands, billions of tiny spiders, falling from the sky. They'd get in your hair and crawl down your back... Aren't you thankful for that, too? You should be."
I don't know where the hell that came from, but it makes me laugh, even now. The second side of the coin is this; I like to know what's going on in my friends' lives. I read my Livejournal friends page every day, and I subscribe to every one of my Myspace friends' blogs. I figure, if I wouldn't read what they write, why should they be my friend? But I most definitely don't want to hear about it when they take out the trash or make a sandwich or give the cat a bath. Well, maybe the last one, but only if something really funny happens. Personally, it seems that if you need to know that much detail about your friends' daily lives or feel the burning need to share that stuff about yours, you may want to consider that you have a problem. Turn off the computer and take a walk. Go to a park and interract with real people. Just don't Tweet about it.