Home > Cultural Musings, Friends, technology > another twit on twitter?

another twit on twitter?

I bet you have heard the word, “twitter.”

I bet you have though to yourself, “I should figure out what that is”, “wow, that’s a stupid name for … whatever that is”, or something similarly dismissive.

Its okay, this is not a post to chew anybody out, it is a post that will take a shot at explaining why twitter is all the buzz for youngsters with their hipster glasses, apple laptops, and coffee mug filled hands.

Here’s a screen shot for you:


That’s really all you need to know.  The website/web service’s name is “twitter” and the goal is the answer the question, “what are you doing?”

Space is limited, so use your 140 characters carefully.

For some of you (and maybe, eventually, yours truly) that simple explanation will be enough to incur a “that’s stupid” and you will be able to continue your wonderful life, wonderfully, having suffered no loss of life-value as a result.

Let’s be honest, I might end up joining you.

As for now, however, I have boarded the twitter train and I am going to ride it out for a little while, here’s why:

1.  Twitter takes the place of mass text messages – Rather than typing out a text, scrolling through my contacts, selecting all the numbers I want the text sent to,  sending that text, and using my text plan up, I can send out one message and let twitter do the rest.  All I need are equally techno-savy friends who will join twitter (no charge) and have your updates sent to their cellphone.

2.  I work with college students … who have thick callouses on their thumbs from manipulating electronic devices – Textual communication (copyright Lee Wilson) is their favorite means of communication.  It doesn’t (shouldn’t) take the place of face to face conversation, but it can help expedite the occurrence of those conversations.

3.  It is great if you know people internationally – rather than paying large fees for international text messaging or being bound to a computer to talk on google chat or skype, I can send text messages to specific individuals via twitter (hear that @jasonnichter)

4.  Minutiae matters to me – some people hate smalltalk, I used to be one of those people.  The more I have thought about it the more I realize that part of really knowing somebody well is knowing the details of their lives, the things that the average person finds insignificant.  While it is no replacement for personal interaction, I really do want to know that @devinmaddox is playing jeopardy with his wife and @bendockery is flying into the Denver airport.

5. Twitter has potential – as the technology has grown, you can now connect your blog to twitter (as I have) and send out post updates.  You can also tweet photos from your cellphone if you want to.

    You may not want to waste your time, but I think I am going to stick around to see what might be coming along next for twitter.

    You can check me out at twitter.com/leewilson, be sure to “follow me” if you do decide to tweet.


    Still confused about twitter?  Check out this really helpful video from commoncraft:

    1. December 9, 2008 at 3:53 pm

      I think I’m gonna join…

      I think.

    2. December 12, 2008 at 2:13 am

      I think I finally get why I don’t care about twitter. Because I couldn’t give a shit if my friend is busy watching jeopardy, or if some acquaintence is flying to Boston. Call me a Scrooge of the 21st century, but I honestly and truly do not give a damn about the minutia of anyone’s life but my own.

      I already have a facebook account, and the only thing anyone ever posts there is useless, meaningless, trivial crap. If I really wanted to widdle my time away doing nothing again, I’d go back to watching tv.

    3. leewilson7170
      December 12, 2008 at 11:58 am

      at least you’re honest.

      what do you consider a useful way to send you time? how do you invest in friendships and community?

      or do you? if not, what do you value?

      (obviously, these questions are moving past the whole twitter thing)

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