** She said …
I was reluctant to join Twitter mainly because of my guilty conscious about how much time I was wasting on Facebook and my healthy denial of my dependence on the internet. The pitch I received from friends made it sound a heck of a lot like Facebook status … only limited to 140 characters. I wasn’t sure I needed another social networking outlet.
I caved when my sister-in-law and brother both joined and sent invites. My first visit, I posted an initial tweet about how I was trying to figure Twitter out, explored for a few minutes and then signed out. I don’t think I signed back on for another three weeks.
What got me hooked on Twitter was the mobile phone application, and when Vermont senate members were tweeting during the gay marriage debate.
Being able to hear updates while the gay marriage debate was going on was revolutionary for me. I felt like I had my finger on the news pulse. I was unable to stop refreshing the page. I felt like I was in the State House. History was being made and I was aware of the changes each minute (or thereabouts). And yes, it was THAT interesting that each new tweet was worthy of being both posted and read.
As for the phone application, I was able to receive news and sports updates, recommended recipes, music and other information that I had requested immediately. Talk about satisfying my generation’s instant gratification complex! Even better, if I chose, I only had to read 140 characters. All joking aside, though, I have had access to some great information I might not have heard about without Twitter. And my life is enriched by it.
While I had over 600 “friends” on Facebook posting about what their child had said that morning of what they were doing at that minute or the latest quiz determining which Sex and the City character they most resembled, I was suddenly more interested in what the 20 people I was following on Twitter were doing. Yes. Obviously this has to do with the fact that I felt cooler knowing that Lance Armstrong was going into surgery for his shoulder a few minutes before he got wheeled in. I like feeling like I’m in the know about people I admire. And does Lance tweet a little too often? Yes. Yes he does. I don’t need to know that he’s taking his kids to school. And yes, I feel like at times he’s getting paid for the marketing he’s doing via Twitter (ie: I love this shoe. Check ’em out. http://tinyurl.com/c4oqy6). But I love when he talks about biking and his passion is contagious. And my friends on Twitter seemed more thoughtful for the most part. More interested in passing on an interesting article or some link worth clicking on. It is less of a waste of time and more a pursuit of information.
I’ve already admitted that Twitter makes me feel cooler in a deranged way, but it also keeps me more informed and more in touch with what is going on outside of the town I live in and the friends I see daily. Twitter is a great way to harness and access some fascinating information. Can it still be a colossal waste of time? Of course. Everything in moderation …