31 August 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship with Twitter

I’m a talker. People who know me in person know that I can talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. I have a million reasons I blame, but it still remains that I. Talk. I started this blog to specifically talk about things that are Deeply Important™ to me. Because I sincerely want to speak out and a blog is just one way I can write down and refine my thoughts, and be challenged and challenge right back. It also helps out my boyfriend, as I mentioned in the first post, because he has enough to deal with on top of my personal crusades.

But even so, this blog only gets out a little bit of the dialogue running through my head. I’ve recently joined Facebook, too. It’s neat, that Facebook community thing. I can keep in touch with my family all over the country. I can see pictures and video from them. I get to hear from my brother in Atlanta more than twice a year. I can witness my Marine cousin’s decline into complete assholery while he’s stationed in Iraq. On Facebook, I can even get out a few more of the thoughts in my head. I can moan about the Redwings signing Todd Bertuzzi, or make fun of myself when I screw up something simple (like, you know, trying to print a document and continually hitting the “Save” button instead). With all its features, though, Facebook is still limiting. It’s not a place where I feel comfortable posting a running dialogue. Instead, I have to save up those issues and spew them all over my poor boyfriend when I get home from work. “And then, oh then she had the nerve to say she was in line first, when clearly, I was.” Mind you, my boyfriend is a champ at putting up with my incredibly long-winded tales. I know it’s not easy.

As a result, I considered Twitter. 140 characters seemingly built exactly for the commentary running through my head daily. I looked into it and was discouraged for a long while. There seemed to be two Twitter camps – those who simply posted the tweets about their thoughts, day, etc., and though Twitter does have direct messaging capabilities, people still use regular tweets a sort of community instant messenger, re-tweeting and commenting on every other tweet they follow. If you’ve ever “followed” a person on Twitter, you’ll find that the twitter streams from those in Camp 2 can get awfully annoying. You can have a twitterer post a dozen “tweets” on their feed responding to other people they follow and thus their twitter stream becomes a bunch of one-sided comments to comments about which you have no clue. For example, from twittergeek’s twitter stream (all, completely fictitious names, by the way):
@twittergal: Right on, sister!
@twitternut: I know! I can’t believe that happened either!
@twitterbum: Have you tried honey and toilet paper?

An on an on. And if you’re like me, you’re like, dude, what on earth was happening that they suggested honey and toilet paper? So you click over to see @twitterbum’s feed, but it’s been a few hours so twitterbum’s feed is exactly the same!

@twitternerd: Purple and itchy!
@twitterpal: I think that’s tomorrow.
@twitteruser: That’s what @twitterdoctor said!

Gah!! It’s an endless click-through maze and you’ll never get to know for what condition you would use honey and toilet paper. What’s worse is that twitterers can also automatically update their Facebook pages with their twitter steam. One of my FB friends did this and my Facebook homepage ended up being 50 daily tweets from them and I couldn’t get to the *actual* Facebook updates from my other friends and family. Sadly, I had to block that person’s posts just to restore sanity to my Facebook page. Based on this phenomenon, I pretty much left Twitter alone for a while.

Recently, though, I found a few twitter feeds that seemed more like Camp #1, just a running commentary on thoughts and interests of the day. The longer I followed those twitter feeds, the more I liked it. The more I thought I finally found an outlet for my daily commentary. It’s a place where I can post the updates of my saga with Home Depot’s online service program. I can spew about the ridiculousness of how I walked the short distance to the cafeteria for only two things and forgot one of them by the time I got there. A place where I can bore everyone or no one at all with the fact that today there were three dead birds outside my office window and what the heck is up with that?

Oh, Twitter, will you help me move my vocal verbosity to the interwebs instead of to the ears of my patient, loving boyfriend? I promise I won’t use it as an IM feed and stick to the really boring 140-character updates of which no one but me cares. And when I see articles like the one about Kentucky, I’ll save it for my blog and not Twitter.

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