For the past several weeks, I have been using Twitter fleetingly, to put it mildly. Every time I encounter something interesting like a hedgehog running across the road, or when I simply look out the window and see the rain or the sun, or when I buy some expensive jeans, or when I am glad about having started working out (I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture), I only have one thought in mind and that is “Hey, I can twitter that!”
The attraction to Twitter has proved to be magnetic. I sleep and dream about what I can tweet about, exactly which words I can use to make my tweets more effective and how I can draw more visitors to my account, so they can become my followers. “Follow me on Twitter” has a much different implication now. The higher the number of followers, the higher the status in the everpopular microblogging service and beyond. Just like sporting a button with the number of feed readers on my blog, I show off my popularity by mentioning how many Twitter followers I have.
Twitter has become a pond of ideas and links, and one can argue if a dump is not a better description. The abundance of information and variations has made the original question and purpose of the service fade into the background. “What are you doing?” is rarely a question you reply with “So simple yet so powerful! Short movie “Signs” http://bit.ly/smsigns“ (original) or “Congratulations, Barons! One game to go and you are champions. Again. #lbl #basketball” (original), is it?
My point is by no means to demonise Twitter. I do not even question its value as a service to keep in touch with your friends or as an alternative source of information and news (e.g. @BreakingTweets, @DienaLv, etc.). A longer Gmail outage was the reason for me to start using Twitter in order to find out what was going on. My point is to raise awareness (first of all with myself) about the danger of having all decisions in life being centred around the mighty Twitter. I have to learn to use Twitter as a chain link, not a final destination.
Twitter icons courtesy of Mirjami Manninen (via Smashing Magazine)