Thursday, February 17, 2011

For the Birds

People come up to me, and they say, "hey, Jeffrey Scott Holland, if you despise social networks so much, why are you on Twitter?"

The answer is: because I don't see it as a social network. And even if it was one, I certainly don't use it as one.

Twitter is microblogging, and my Twitter feed is a blog, same as this one you are reading now. It has the interesting qualities of being hamstrung by the super-short character text limit, and by the fact that the concept suggests your "tweets" talk about what you're doing (or, by extension, thinking) at any given moment. Is it useless? Oh yeah. Is it crap? Totally. But hey, so is blogging in general. For that matter, so is the internet. La de da.

For many, the way to play the Twitter game is to load up on random "friends" just as you would on Facebook (and some sad souls actually pay money for fake friends just so they can look popular in cyberspace). Then they monitor their list of all the incoming Tweets from all their "friends" and then indulge in idle banter with them in this self-contained cocoon of random entropy they've created.

That's not how I roll. My Twitter feed is just a microblog, one-way communication, like Moses comin' down the mountain, puttin' his thing down, and leaving. And the way to read is it to simply go my Twitter and read it. You don't have to join Twitter (frankly, I'd advise against it) and you don't have to feel obligated to say anything or interact in any way. It is what it is - and it is just a bunch of one-sentence posts about what I'm eating for breakfast and other Very Important Matters.

- - JSH

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