I’ve liked Twitter since I first started playing with it last year, but there are some things that are really starting to annoy me about these 140-character “conversations” that we’re carrying on there, server issues notwithstanding.
Whether it’s some people getting a little snippy from time to time and then other people making a way-too-huge-a-deal about it, or whether it’s two very smart people like Gary and Sheryl blowing out a Tweet-a-minute micro debate about the state of education in this country, or whether it’s people trying to live Tweet hour-long presentations that turn into like 347 updates, I’m finding anything that hints of substance just too scattered, too disjointed to read, even with the wonders of Tweetdeck. It’s like trying to eavesdrop on the conversation of a bunch of people with really bad cell phone reception, hearing a part of one response ’til it cuts out into the other. Frustrating.
And I can’t help feeling like it’s just making all of us, myself included, lazy. We’ve lamented this before, this “fact” that the whole community is blogging less since Twitter, engaging less deeply, it seems. Reading less. Maybe it’s just me (again) or maybe it’s my long term attachment to this blogging thing and my not so major attachment to texting, but it feels like the “conversation” is evolving (or would that be devlolving) into pieces instead of wholes, that the connections and the threads are unraveling, almost literally. That while, on some level, the Twitterverse feels even more connected, in reality it’s breaking some of the connectedness.
I (we?) blog for many reasons, not the least of which is that I’m sincerely interested in what others are experiencing and I hope to learn from their reactions. When I write here, I can’t help but hope that whoever reads it will stop, reflect if they find it relevant, and offer up some wisdom (or whatever else) that will pique my thinking. I hope it becomes a conversation among a group of interested parties that want to test out or build on the ideas. But on Twitter, while I sometimes post silly “I ran five miles” type of check in post for anyone that might be interested, I also find myself writing for just one or two people yet publishing it for everyone to see. And when I read other Tweets directed as a response to another person, it’s like I feel compelled to click and dig and sort and try to nail down the context of the “conversation” and then to read it back again to make sense of it.
Look, I love the Tweet links and the “touch ’em alls” and the zen, in-the-moment stuff. But, selfishly, I wonder how much less I might be learning today than B.T. as more of what we care about gets processed in short soundbites.
Not sure why all that tipped for me today, but it just got really painful all of a sudden. Anyone else feeling similar things?