No matter how hard I try I can’t get into to Twitter. It just seems alternately creepy and pointless. Thankfully I’m not alone, at least when it comes to the former. Wired’s Steve Levy echoes some of my personal feelings in his recent “Burden of Twitter,” which you can find here:
The more I upload the details of my existence, even in the form of random observations and casual location updates, the more I worry about giving away too much. It’s one thing to share intimacies person-to-person. But with a community? Creepy.
NYU lecturer and Wired correspondent Clay Shirky notes in his 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody, that sharing personal information on social networks is not the same as broadcasting. It’s more like dishing with close buddies in a mall food court.
The latest source of my dilemma is Twitter, which lets you spit out real-time reports about what you’re thinking and doing. It’s fun to track the digital ejaculations of selected Twitterati. But a couple thousand people signed up unsolicited to follow my tweets. And I feel guilty when not serving this hungry crowdâ€”remorseful when I am.
Since I don’t know many in this mob, I try not to be personally revealing. Still, no matter how innocuous your individual tweets, the aggregate ends up being the foundation of a scary-deep self-portrait. It’s like a psychographic version of strip pokerâ€”I’m disrobing, 140 characters at a time.
In regards to the latter, I don’t have to look far either. Some fine examples are FuckTwitter.com, the more succint TwitterSucks.com, and the more humorous Look At All the Things I’m Not Doing. I guess I’m behind the times or something, even though I was Twittering way before CNN and NPR and whatever the fuck, but I never really got into it. Maybe I just have a boring life, though that doesn’t seem to be stopping anyone else. Maybe I’m just not getting into the spirit of Web 2.1. RT this at #whateverthefuck and get the traffic going bro. If this blog gets 5 comments I will Twitter 10 times a day for the next week. If it gets 20 comments I will post nudes.