Saturday, April 18, 2009

Forget the Fail Whale, has anyone seen the shark yet?

After much kicking and screaming, I finally joined Twitter last year. The primary reason for this was the fact that many of my friends (both near and far) had accounts and I always liked to see what they were up to.

I'll admit, I soon got addicted to it. With 140 characters, I don't feel guilty for writing something small like, "Ate ham sandwich for lunch," or "Child is running around pantsless." I don't see this as necessarily deep thoughts or thoughts that require a longer piece in my blog, but instead, they're like little snippets of life -- a little glimpse into an exact moment and what I was feeling and doing at the time. And that's what I expected from my friends, and got it. I love that part of Twitter -- I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to (mundane or not) and what's in their head at that moment.

I also love that some newspapers have gotten into it and are using it to publicize or offer their headlines of news articles. It's a quick and easy way to peruse the news and if something looks interesting, click on the link and read more about the article.

But what I don't like is the celebrity culture now invading Twitter and basically announcing, "HERE I AM MY MINIONS! WORSHIP ME!" like when Ashton Kutcher challenged CNN to a race to one million followers. Or when Oprah issued her first Twitter on her show. Or hearing about ghostwriters for celebs. Seriously. For 140 characters.

There are celebs that I do follow -- I happen to find Neil Gaiman, Russell Brand, Adam Savage and Grant Imahara very interesting and funny. They allow a little glimpse into their lives and some nice, nerdy commentary.

The other ones I follow are because I'm fans of theirs. But I'm starting to find that I'm becoming less enamoured with them. Take Donnie Wahlberg for example (SORRY CHRISTINA! I GOTTA SAY IT!). I'm starting to notice a lot of his twitterings are basically inspirational sayings that more annoy me than make me smile. I also don't enjoy hearing about how many followers he has or how many more he wants to have. It kind of wrecks the intimacy that I feel like Twitter should have -- what's going on in the moment and what is exactly going on in your head at that time.

But I'll still follow him. Because he's one of my first crushes (Puberty. It's a hell of a drug.) and really, because at 140 characters, if I'm not in the mood to check it out, I can easily skip over it. And maybe that's the whole point of Twitter -- we can fashion it to what we want it to be. I'll stick with it because I like seeing what my friends are up to, reading news headlines and even seeing an occasional insane rant from some interesting celebs.

I just don't want to feel like I'm back in high school where it didn't matter the quality of your friends, but the quantity. That's where I'm drawing a line.

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