Wednesday, April 6, 2011

To Tweet or not to Tweet....that is the question

Clearly, I have joined Twitter - shut your mouth and slap yo momma silly! I was very reluctant, and am still a bit unsure.  Immediately, I felt a sense of panic - How do I do this?
What are all these symbols? 
What do they all mean? 
Is someone reading this? 
Do they care? 
And the one question that plagued me all night - WHAT will I tweet?  
I am pretty good with coming up with clever, witty blog entries (or so you must think since you are reading this), and perhaps an occasional funny Facebook status......but an entertaining entry less than 140 characters long??  That gets me into a tizzy.  First, who really cares what I am doing - and if you do, then I beg you to please go outside, enjoy this weather, and find something constructive to do with your time.  Second, I have noticed that no one really comments or replies to Tweets - is this correct?  Heck, I like when people comment or "like" my Facebook updates - it's the only way I know that what I said mattered!  Now, I am just sending out info into an abyss for my 10 followers to read - or maybe they're not reading....who knows?!

And to add to the turmoil, I also learned that my 3 year old Blackberry is too ancient to support Twitter - so I can't even Tweet when I am away from my computer - whodathunkit?

There was a bright spot to all this havoc, and I am enjoying reading everyone else's tweets....while still trying to think of a cute and clever profile description for myself.  I did some research earlier this morning, after my barrage of follower emails (I did feel special), and found that some of my favorite authors are also tweeters (is that what we call them?)...and they actually post stuff that interests me, and inspires me.  I wish I could retweet everything posted by Max Lucado - here is today's:

Marriage is God's idea. 
He created it because most of us are better God-followers 
with a partner than we are alone.

Regardless of your views on religion, marriage, one can deny that as humans, we were created with emotions and an insatiable need for belonging.  Something that has been on my mind and heart for quite some time is this:  Are Facebook and Twitter producing a generation of humans who will be unable to communicate and effectively connect with others face to face?  It's so easy with these mediums to get into the depths of other people's lives - stalking their photos, seeing who they're friends with, comparing, envying....without ever truly connecting with them.  Perhaps a little mystery should be the case for this young generation - not everything should be posted for your 1,035 friends to see (and really, who has that many friends?)  Brent and I were talking last night about how we can't begin to imagine what it would have been like to go through middle and high school again with Facebook.  That awful break-up in 11th grade - just go ahead and skin me.  Those years were bad enough, let alone add a social audience of so-called friends to the mix.

This human disconnect is no better referenced from an experience that I had a few years ago.  I went to a certain social engagement 2 years ago - it was school sponsored, but also marketed privately through Facebook.  I was invited, through Facebook, to someone's house before the event.  I respectfully hit the "will not be attending" button, but went to the main event.  There, the person who had invited me (again, via Facebook), walked right past me and never said hello the entire evening.  You might argue that maybe she didn't know me, or remember me - well, shoot, my profile pic is up for all to see and she did consciously click on my name to invite me.  So, does Facebook make us cowards in real life? Here, she was perfectly willing for me to come to her house, but could not say hi when faced with the human version of me.  I am still baffled.

On the hindsight, I do see more of a connection when Facebook and Twitter are used as a supplement to human connection, not as THE connection.  I am friends with people who I rarely see - but feel close to because I read and comment on their blogs, and visa versa.  I won't lie - it makes me smile when I get the little alert on my Blackberry that someone "likes" my status.  I feel good inside.  And when it's your birthday....oh feel loved.  People you haven't talked to in years suddenly come out of the woodwork to wish you well on your day. 

I know I love Facebook just as much as the next person, and I do have to limit myself to how much time I spend on there, so lest you think I am preaching or judging, know that I am saying all this to myself as well.  So I am curious to know what yall think - are there negative implications to all this social media?  Do you ever wish you could go back to the days before it all?

And someone...anyone.... explain the difference between Facebook status updates and Twitter to this poor, clueless girl. 

Happy Wednesday:)

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