As someone who has actually been asked the question, “what did you do before you had a cellphone”, I laughed at the idea of Twitter catching on. Now I find myself reaching for my phone to take a picture or comment about something I deemed funny earlier in the day. Even with only 9 followers on Twitter (hold your applause), I still post as if for that one moment … I did something legen … (wait for it) … dary!
So what if I hit the gym for 2 hours today, had homemade potato and egg tacos for lunch or took a bull by the horns (its a metaphor … but I really did that). Why would anyone care?
- Could it be that our lives are are distracting enough that we need to focus on someone else’s problems?
- Could it be that I’d rather just sum up a days worth of conversations in 140 characters?
- Could it be that we’ve all just got really out of touch?
In a time when; if you don’t know the answer to a question, a common response would be “Google it”, we are making ourselves less and less socially stable to actual conversations. We discussed in class the other day about how a person that walks into a room filled with strangers will pick up their phone and automatically connect to their comfort zone. That small group of “friends” or “followers” that give them comfort. We rely on that comfort for many, many things in our day to day life. Simple things like :
- Can anyone recommend a contractor?
- I’m in South Dallas and want something good to eat, where do I go?
- Does anyone know what time the game starts?
These are all simple requests that could take you seconds of your own time to find the proper response but we rely on our “friends” and “followers”. Bernardo Huberman wrote an article about Twitter called Social Networks that Matter : Twitter under the Microscope where he demonstrated how users of Social Media and Twitter have strong core groups and vast extended groups. This plays well in advertising and other money making possibilities.
You might be asking yourself, “how is this going to make money'” Well it’s simple! You say that you like something and “word of mouth” travels faster on the internet … so all of your core group people will also try that one thing you liked. It also can do the same in the negative advertisement. Just ask Chick-fil-a and JC Penny, both of these companies had a bad year in anti-gay remarks and were cast aside by many but strongly supported by others. In their fights, I guess it just depended on whose core group of friends was stronger.
Although most people will use Twitter to just describe lunches, manicure and other mundane events, we have the ability to use it for a better purpose. We can actually hyperlink articles, videos or music that have touched a cord with us, so that hopefully it can help someone else get through their day. Author Steven Johnson wrote an article for Time Magazine in June of 2009 were he expressed how Twitter is and will be on the for front of our current Social Media explosion. His vision of how the tweaks to current applications and the users ability to customize the use of their daily ramblings to the Huberman style groups made it a very interesting read. I found myself getting mad at Facebook for trying to buy out Twitter and then realized that they are trying to duplicate the same features to Facebook.
Oh well… as long as I can still pick up my cell phone in the morning and get my days fill of news via those alloted 140 characters, we should be good. Can you imagine the actual conversations at the work water cooler or the family dinner table that would occur if we all shared just a little something Extraordinary?