Through Thick n’ Thin

I am not a tweeter. I don’t do the twitter. I just do not get it. The irony: I have a twitter account. I got it several years ago at the insistence of my cousin. She was into it. It was yet another way for us to interact on the inter webs (mostly I just think she wanted someone to tweet about inside jokes with). When I first read this assignment I sort of grumbled to myself about having to remember my password, which I was unable to recall. After resetting my password I set about exploring this foreign platform. The first thing I did was follow @LUCcommunityrelations because I manage this account as part of my job. I post Twitter/Facebook blasts using hoot suite, so I’m not really interacting with the classic twitter interfacing. I then followed Carrie Bradshaw because who doesn’t want to know what everyone’s favorite fictitious character is up to now. After mindlessly scrolling to my hearts content I stumbled upon the #discover in the upper left hand. This introduced me to users and posts that twitter thought I might like. A lot of it was blogs and other sites I frequent online, only the twitter accounts belonging to them. Hmmmm, coincidence? Maybe we should ask google.

During my mere 30 minutes back in the twitter world I already gained four new followers. This was super annoying because I kept receiving text notifications. So far I am not liking twitter.

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So these are some of my new followers. I’m not quite getting the warm fuzzes from twitter at the moment. I’m currently in the process of setting my account to private.

Meanwhile, when it came time to tweet I felt a block. I feel like no one really cares about this information that I am putting out there. They’re my plans for the next two evenings. Plans involving people, places, and performances all of which will be real life fun. I don’t always feel like the web is a friendly place. It’s full of ridicule and trolls hiding behind the comfort of their screens. A lot of times the fear of people criticizing what I post keeps me from sharing the mundane details of my life. I had some apprehension about posting these two tweets:

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Both of these are thick tweets. I personally find these a lot more interesting than a thin tweet, unless of course it is a short and snappy quip that one of my witty friends has posted.

Shirky’s article discusses how in today’s world we are more connected than ever. The internet is constantly linking other sites, people, and places. This can be seen in my own tweets. In my first tweet I shared that I would be seeing one of my favorite dancers of a Chicago ballet company performing on friday night. I was able to link all of this together in one thought under 140 characters. However, despite my linking, the tweet received no favorites or retweets. So, I do not know if my information reached anyone, which is kind of sad. In this scenario I do not think that the internet is making us smarter because there is simply too much information out there. Information that is just being scrolled over.

I do not feel like twitter is really reading. I followed several news twitter pages, but as I scrolled through the feed I’d notice the NYTimes image on the left but my eyes completely glossed over what news tidbits they were sharing. I don’t know if it’s me, but twitter is boring. In Dibbell’s article from this week he brings up the idea of the 140 characters or less. 140 characters was rough for me to work with. I wanted to express so much more! How can you fit all your thoughts into such little space? I guess that’s the idea: expressing thought, not thoughts, plural. All of these “random, fleeting observation[s]” don’t have to be so transient when they are immortalized on twitter (Dibbell). Maybe I need to spend more time on twitter to fully understand the hype. Perhaps I will start using it to share more information with people about cool things going on around Chicago and Campus, but for now I would like for my thin thoughts to stay in my head.

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