Monday, March 23, 2009

My Take on Twitter: Useful or Addictive?

I came across this video about a young man struggling "against the pressure to Twitter his life away" thanks to Jeremiah Owyang. It is hilarious, to say the least.

I was recently asked by my friend Charlie how I felt about Twitter. He has his own dance company in SF and was curious how he could use social media to promote his company. I am a believer that Twitter can do many a good thing when used for business purposes.

First of all, it's a great way for me to connect with people who use Juniper, love Juniper or have yet to figure out how much they love Juniper. Twitter allows me to be a quick reference point for everyone. By finding people who are interested in Juniper specifically, or just want to talk about expanding their network, find information about the data center, or switch technology, I am able to get information to them that they wouldn't ordinarily know to seek out for themselves. I may not know the answers for their questions, but I have access to the people inside the company. I know where to ask, and it's a great way to connect to someone who actually has a personality rather than filling out a support form or sending an email without knowing if you'll ever get an answer.

This video is hilarious because of the parody it makes of our social reliance on Twitter. I laughed at the desperate screaming of the people when the twitter whale came and shut them out. I remember the first time Twitter went down on me-- wondering what I was going to do with this thought I wanted to import. Apparently, "waiting" is not an option. My thoughts stream through my head at an alarming rate. How can I be expected to hang on to a thought for longer than the moment I am thinking it? What absurdity! Not to mention, by the time Twitter does come back up-- my thought will already be irrelevant. I NEED IMMEDIACY! 

I have the benefit of having two Twitters: one for personal and one for work [@JNetTawnee]. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that my personal twitter serves no purpose, and more than likely does not better the world in any way. It does serve to be a way for me to track my silly train of thoughts, pictures, and responses to friends. Being someone who has journaled from the ripe age of 10, micro-blogging is near and dear to my heart. When I was 10, I had the time to write pages describing what I did that day-- but for my fast paced life, Twitter is a great substitute until I can actually sit down on LiveJournal or--who knows--maybe even an actual journal and transcribe my thoughts on the day, the world, and what's to come.

So what do you think? Is Twitter as mindless and nonsensical when used in moderation and for appropriate uses? Or are we just insane addicts who take too much and freak out when we can't get our next fix?

By the way, when I finish this post, I will be twittering about it. Perhaps that's how you got here. If so, I guess it served me well. Thanks Twitter, and thanks to you for clicking.


Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie said...

The real-world traumas induced by Twitter-fication of our lives!

(My post is short enough to be a Tweet, might have to cross-post for ultimate irony)

Oh, great article, btw.