by Jen on January 29, 2009

in Everyone is entitled to my opinion,Twitterpated

Towards the end of last summer, two things converged on me, purely by coincidence, pushing me toward a new obsession.

For my birthday, the Hubster got me a BlackBerry Curve. Yes, the pink one. I’ve wanted a smart phone for a while, since trying to juggle all the information I need to carry around with me using a separate cell phone and Palm Pilot turned out to be awkward. He also wanted a BlackBerry and some of our friends had started to get them (allowing us all to use the nifty BlackBerry Messenger), so it seemed like the time to take the plunge.

Not long after that, I signed up for Twitter.

I’d read about Twitter a couple of years ago when it first started out and was getting a lot of press. I even visited their site back then to see what it was all about, but I just didn’t get it. At the time, I didn’t read as many blogs as I do now and none of the blogs I read used Twitter. I didn’t know anyone personally that used Twitter. Also, it seemed inane to me. The idea that someone, even my real life friends, would be interested to know that right now I’m “eating the best piece of pizza in my life” seemed far-fetched. I don’t think I’d heard the term micro-blogging at the time, but even if I had, it’s a fair assumption that I still wouldn’t have gotten it. Then the writers of some of my favorite blogs started to Twitter, but I just ignored the widgets in their blog sidebars because I still didn’t get it.

Now, however, I get it. And I love it.

My original motivation for signing up for Twitter was that, during the presidential election debates, Cecily at Uppercase Woman decided to tweet her thoughts in real time rather than write up posts later and I wanted to know what she was thinking.* Then I noticed that Zoot also twittered, so I signed up to follow her, too.** And then I noticed Alexa at Flotsam had a Twitter widget on her blog. So I signed up for her updates.***

I think you can see where this is going.

I love knowing what people are up to, in between their regular blog posts. As anyone who is reading this realizes, since Goose was born I haven’t been able to keep up with this blog the way I used to. I think I’m getting better, moving back toward regular postings, but still days (okay, weeks sometimes) can go by where I just can’t carve out enough minutes to write something coherent and interesting, so I don’t write at all. Also, sometimes I have a thought that’s not really long enough for a full-fledged post, but something I’d like to put out there. And that’s one of the things Twitter is great for.

The only third-party application I’ve downloaded for my BlackBerry is Twitterberry. Now Twitter is my new obsession. I have an addictive personality; it’s a characteristic I willingly acknowledge. Even as a child, when I became interested in a subject (Like gerbils. Or puppetry. Hey, I’ve already established I’m more than a little weird.), I’d go to the public library and check out every book possible about it, take them home and pore over them until my mental sponge was saturated. I thank god we didn’t have the internet back in the 70s; if we had I think I’d have been some pasty child that viewed the outside world only through her window — either the literal window in my room or the figurative one that is a computer screen — because the internet? Oh, the limitless information! (I know, I know… I’m preaching to the choir.) I’m also grateful that through all that reading I learned early the intellectual tools of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. At least I can think critically about the information I’m presented with and form my own opinion. However, as usual… I digress.

With my BlackBerry, I can access Twitter anywhere. And so I do. (Yes, I can access Blogger and Bloglines too, but they’re a lot more cumbersome. Someone really needs to develop a cute little app like Twitterberry to make them more accessible via their mobile sites.) Twitter is easy to keep up with it. Usually. I mean, I do still have this pesky family and all that takes up most of my time. But Twitter — and my BlackBerry — have kept me from completely falling behind and dropping off the grid. It’s quick to read and quick to post. It helps me feel like I’m still connected.

This is my confession that I’m completely twitterpated. (I actually have a really cool Disney album from my childhood that has a song called “Twitterpated” on it. I think it’s from the movie Bambi. Now if only I still had a record player…) I’m slowly adding interesting people to follow. (What can I say? I’m picky about to whom I give my time) There’s a Twitter widget on my own sidebar now. I’m very glad that our school’s tech guy hasn’t discovered Twitter yet, as he would definitely block it like all other social networking and social media sites are blocked on our server (as I’m sure they are on every other public school server in the United States). When that day comes, I’ll be exceptionally grateful for my BlackBerry. (The love I feel for my BlackBerry could fill a whole ‘nother post). Because I can’t go without my Twitter fix.

On a related note, I’m working hard to resist the lure of Facebook. We’ll see how long I hold out.

*Cause I think she’s awesome. Smart. And funny as all get out.
**Cause I think she’s awesome. Smart. And funny as all get out.
***Cause I think she’s awesome. Smart. And funny as… well, you know.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen January 29, 2009 at 6:48 pm

I’ve been trying to resist Facebook too but it seems like SO MANY people use it but then I’m all I can barely keep up with the blog, how could I possibly do yet another <>thing<>? Also, it is very hard to find my blog, even though I use real names. So long lost college friends can’t find me, yet with Facebook…ah, I’m still holding out for now.

2 Ragtop Day January 31, 2009 at 10:13 am

I’m glad you posted about this – I succumbed to the Facebook pull in October (and love it!) but I am still trying to grasp the appeal of Twitter. I’m tempted to sign up just to follow some folks, but I’d have to do it on the computer, since my cell is work-provided, and has a lot of restrictions.As for people finding you when you don’t want to be found on Facebook, most people set their privacy settings that you have to be “friends” to see anything, and you don’t have to accept every (or any) friend request that comes your way. But it IS a huge time suck. Forewarned is forearmed.

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