the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

An Anti-Love Note to Twitter


So titled because it’s short, blunt, and to the point. But now I feel self-conscious because I think it also illustrates my tendencies to nonconformity.

You see, this was inspired by mer/liliales, and her twitter pensées post. In her opening sentence, she explains her post is a love note of sorts, although it might not seem as such.

So I respond with an anti-love note. Not hate mail, but an anti-love note. Heh. I’d written a response previously, but then realized I was writing a dry summary of most every Internet medium. I figured things would be much more interesting if I simply said why I find Twitter jarring, although it does suit a few of my purposes.

I completely ignored Twitter until mer introduced me to Brizzly, to be succinct. Brizzly adds some features that I find appealing. First, there is the Brizzly Guide, which quickly summarizes trending topics on Twitter. Yes, dear readers, thanks to the Brizzly Guide, Cimmorene suffers me mocking a viral music video hit: “It’s FRIIIIEEED egg, FRIIIEEED egg, gotta get down on FRIED egg” (Rebecca Black’s “Friday”, produced by Ark Music Productions… search at your peril). Then there’s Brizzly Picnics, which follow the traditional form of chat more closely, but that I sincerely doubt users care very much about.

mer did tell me that Twitter was like chat, when I expressed my doubts. More specifically, she said it was like the old chat rooms, where you could drop in and see what everyone was doing. Yes, I agree that you can drop in and see what everyone is doing.

But I don’t think it’s like chat. I think it’s a strange variant of short-form blogging; it’s so short it might have a semblance of chat. But it is not much of a two-way conversation that I can tell. Not much for me, anyways, and it strikes me as terribly self-absorbed.

I mentioned the Brizzly Guide and the Picnics as features that sealed the deal. Oh, and I’ll add that I find Brizzly’s interface appealing overall. But really, the primary reason why I am there is because I am interested in what a few people have to say, namely Jack Yan, mer, and a certain Gene Kelly fan. The first two I met by way of VOX, and we’ve certainly had some interesting discussions, by way of long-form blogging, as it were.

But on Twitter… I might as well be talking to myself. If I comment on what they have to say, I get plenty of comments. But if I tweet something of my own incentive… nothing.

Please don’t think that I am accusing them of lack of reciprocity generally. No, they have been quite kind to leave some comments now and then… well, more so if I tweet about it. Oh gah… that still sounds derisive. If anything, I would have you understand, dear readers, that this is my frustration with the Twitter medium.

So why can’t I get into it? For one thing, I find 120 characters (or was that 140?) a mental straitjacket much of the time. I just can’t distill many of my thoughts to short little bursts. I like to say that this is one of many ways that extroverts have tried to bend an inherently flat medium to their perspective, especially since many of them are sending messages from handheld devices. However, I’d say the medium still reinforces an introverted expression of sorts. I could wander off on a tangent explaining why I think social networking is still ultimately self-absorbed, and not a true social exchange, but that’s another discussion.

All I can say is that most of my thoughts flow long and free. I cannot do that in Twitter, hence my tweets are very few and far between.

Heh. Maybe some hipster will find this delightfully ironic. But at best, this is sardonic.  Judge for yourselves based on this table, last seen at the Online Etymology Dictionary:

(sardonic is on the right)

Author: jaklumen

Wherever you see "jaklumen", that's me- the username is still unique as of the current year. Be aware that the facet you see, is only a small part of the me that is me.

4 thoughts on “An Anti-Love Note to Twitter

  1. Hello Jaklumen,
    I don’t do twitter for I posterous and wordpress blogs are enough for me to handle. Have a nice Friday and weekend.


    • You have a WordPress blog? I missed that somehow.

      Twitter may serve my purposes as basically a notification service, especially for short-form stuff like 43Things.


  2. One reason for not responding is the odds. Basically, if your Tweet’s not there in the visible Tweetstream when I happen to visit Twitter, that’s kind of it. I follow around 3,000 people. I have you in a friends’ list on Twitter, which I occasionally check, but it’s populated with a lot of people as well.
       Twitter, for me, is just a method to get stuff off my chest. It has its uses, though I find a lot of overlap between it and Facebook.


    • Fair enough, Jack. I suspected you are often busy and Twitter has been a convenient way to quickly keep track of the many people you are in contact with.

      I will be looking at client-side solutions again for Twitter and a way to tweet my posts here that is simple and straightforward, if I can find such.


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