“To Twitt or Not To Twitt”

On: October 13, 2008
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About Maggie Badermadjian


As it is defined in Wikipedia – Micro-blogging is a relatively new phenomenon defined as “a form of blogging that lets you write brief text updates (usually less than 200 characters) about your life on the go and send them to friends and interested observers via text messaging, instant messaging (IM), email or the web”, some examples would be Twitter, Jaiku and a more recent one Pownce.
These tools are easy to use and don’t take up too much thinking or analysing on what to write about and how to write it…just be spontaneous and or describe what you are doing at that very moment.

What are you doing?

Twitter one of the most popular micro-blogging tools today, launched in October 2006 is being used by thousands of people, describing their daily activities, seeking and sharing all sorts of information. I must admit when my friends first told me about Twitter, it got me thinking… why would I want to participate in this online community, what’s so interesting or even different about it? If I want to know how or what my friends are doing an sms, a phone call or even an email would do. But what happens when you just don’t know who you want to communicate with, or you feel that the information you want to send or share with someone is not that important…  therefore coming to think of it again Twitter would be an incredible solution, people can say anything they want and whenever they want to say it and the friends that are actually interested in what your doing or how your feeling can simply respond to you.

“Breaking Twitter up”

  • A combination of social networking and micro-blogging tool
  • Enables you to log in
  • Limits you with 140 characters in length for each posting (TWITT)
  • Gives you the ability to send and read other users updates
  • Updates  can be received via IM, SMS, RSS, email or through other applications such as Twitterrific or Facebook.

Twittopia or Dystopia?

Looking at Twitter from an aphoristic communications perspective, we can see that we keep on writing unconnected short sentences. In this case Twitt’s with a limitation of-140 characters- giving us the freedom to be random and free to write and post anything we want at any time. Twitter allows its users to  “follow” from other members who are added as “friends”. An individual who is not a “friend” of a user but follows his/her updates is known as a “follower”. Thus friendships can either be reciprocated or one-way. So using the above brief description, are we actually trying to make an ideal social network community? (Twittopia). By creating micro-blogging tools, in this case “Twitter” a (almost stupidly) user friendly tool allowing us to share information, feelings or activities with people of our choice at any time of the day and as irrelevant as it can be. Or are these kind of tools, creating a “dystopic” environment are we actually feeling more and more gaps in our lives that give us the urge to tell our friends or even strangers what we are doing, and by “following” all these postings are we actually creating a big brother environment?
Nevertheless aphorisms can be very helpful, especially in removing the complexity of an issue or argument, leaving the recipient with a clear understandable and memorable perspective.
As I have already mentioned above, when I first heard about Twitter I wasn’t very fond of this idea of people following me and vice versa, I couldn’t find the logic behind it and felt like it was a waste of time and space. Now after a couple of weeks of being active in Twittering I feel it has a lot of potential. The psychology behind it is amazing, how people interact through it, how twittering can boost creativity, it is even a great way to research when following certain people whom of which are involved in the subject you are interested in.
Bottom line is Twitter motivates us to be alive online, we generally want to feel connected whether that is offline or online, we want to effectively scan for opportunity and optimize for the best opportunities, activities, and contacts, in any given time. We constantly thrive to be recognized and to matter basically to feel alive and to be heard.

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