Monday, August 31, 2009

To Twitter or Not to Twitter, that is the Question

One thing I’ve noticed about Twitter is the amount of salacious people who choose to follow me before I get the chance to block them—I’m so glad I get email notifications as some are plain XXX-rated and I’m sure these are designed simply to seduce and trap people to pornography addiction.

I use Twitter only as an extra feed of my EzineArticles. Other than that I leave it where it is, not truly understanding its power or purpose. Twitter seems to be something that you use when you want to follow interesting people and people can follow you because they find you interesting. Beyond that, I don’t really understand it; though I did notice a ‘Twitter For Dummies’ book at a bookstore recently—perhaps I should get myself a copy?

There is a another school of thought that all these social networking applications are actually making people lazy in interacting with each other and I think that’s a good point. Technology can undermine our efforts at interaction:

“Every technology has the ability to enhance embodied life or to subvert it. Take transportation. Planes, trains, and automobiles allow us to enjoy embodied fellowship with people who live far away from us. This is a great good. But speedy, cheap transportation also makes possible the transient culture we live in, where people struggle to put down roots in one place and ground themselves in their neighborhood.”[1]

Extending this, the writer makes the possible point that social networking over the ‘transient’ internet doesn’t ‘enhance embodied life (i.e. love)’ as opposed to real transportation that carries us to an actual destination. When we reach the end of a journey there are real people we connect with; some we haven’t seen in years or even decades.

So, we know that Twitter and Facebook and the like contribute to this transient connection, but the point would also need to be made that these mediums might actually whet the taste buds for people to connect more; in the embodied state I mean.

I’ve known people to get right into Twitter only to pull the plug on their accounts, because like me, they’ve been inundated with salacious (distasteful) followers as mentioned earlier. Anyone seeking to live a virtuous life is placed into an abhorrently foreign situation—they face the arrogant-dregs of the world in an instant, and this is not something they’d invite.

As with all of the applications I use, there is a fundamental purpose that outweighs the ‘maintenance cost’ of keeping it clean; it’s a chance to serve and help people.

With this end in mind, to serve, I attend my Facebook account for five to ten minute daily ‘fixes’ (and to interact) and sometimes if I have the time I’ll log in more than daily. But I try never to get trapped there.

As for Twitter it’s a tool for my few followers to receive my articles via another medium; the only reason to go there is to check and possibly remove followers who’re obviously not after the material I’m a purveyor of.

[1] Mark Galli, “Does Twitter Do Us Any Good? How the movement of the Trinity can help us decide” in Christianity Today (posted 6/04/2009 09:42AM). Retrieved June 10, 2009.

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