Monday, February 23, 2009


Read a lot of interesting stuff today about Twitter, which seems to be tipping massively right now? About how it reflects our culture of narcissism, about its potential for presenters to enter a deeper dialogue with the audience, about getting instant updates from Shaq.

All fascinating to me, stumbling ambivalently through this technology, towards the unknown potential of our new hyperinstantconnectedness.


Anonymous said...

The time. There is just something that fascinates me out about this stuff but also creeps me out. Specifically Facebook and Twitter. I like some sharing – I like blogs – but I don't like the play-by-play Twitter and . Facebook – I'm afraid to get sucked in – and I could see myself wasting time. Seems like it might be fun but in time I could see myself growing weary of the upkeep. TIme is something I value more than ever and I wonder how I could do it without sacrificing the time to read a book, watch a movie, create something with my hands...

I'm Jelly said...

Yeah, totally. The time. I can get sucked into the laptop like a hotel TV if I don't watch it. Clicky clicky clicky. It's what makes this blog a mixed bag for me. It's helped me to untangle a few thoughts, now I want to go explore those thoughts and ideas in the REAL WORLD through conversation and living. I don't want to TYPE about the new things I am thinking and feeling.

A couple of years ago I went to the Webby's conference, and it's really when I switched from being a cynic/skeptic/Jeremiah about the internet/computers to seeing its incredible possibilities. Vint Cerf, a guy who helped invent the internet (!?) was telling a story about his love for traveling the United States in his camper with his wife and another couple, cooking along the way using local foods and wines. The internet enhanced the experience, connecting him with a wineshop close to the Arizona desert where they were settling for the evening, finding a recipe that goes with the case of Spanish wine they found, mapping the way to a Safeway that sells saffron - but the real life experience was what mattered.

Though *I* seem to struggle with boundaries around using my screen, these conference attendees - an elite group of web citizen-creators-business people - seemed to RARELY opening their laptops or check or talk into their cellphones. They were very present, engaged in conversations, laughing, having a blast really. They seemed to be living the old chestnut that the computer/internet is a TOOL, and that's all. It's not a destination. Or if it is, it's a depressing destination. Hotel TV.

Colin Dodd said...

I think this is where I am settling in on the Facebook issue. I'm back and forth a lot, I find it really useful. Benefits outweigh costs for me.

I would miss it if it did not exist.

I mostly agree with this:

Yes, actually, you probably should be on Facebook

by kellogg [Subscribe]
Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 11:48:42 PM EST

An excellent diary currently on the rec list makes an argument against joining Facebook. It makes three cogent and important points: that Facebook does not determine real friendship; that social networking takes a lot of time; and that social networking sites like Facebook can lead to the breakdown of real relationships.

Useful as that diary is, I want to respond to it in two ways. First, I want to suggest that the problems associated with Facebook (here used as a synecdoche for all social networking, including LinkedIn, MySpace,, etc.) are more illusory than real. Second, I want to suggest why Facebook should be embraced by those of us interested in progressive political change.

Cara said...

This is interesting. FB and Twitter are, for me, a kind of virtual panopticon. When I write or update (or whatever) I know that "people are watching," and then, to a certain extent, I begin to discipline myself--I try really hard to be my best self. The thing is that it's not disingenuous. It's best self. In truth, the intention may be performative--you know, to "seem" my best self. But it's still good, right? And good is good.

Hank Hosfield said...

I wonder if FB and Twitter manias aren't just current manifestations of the bourgeois hunger for validation via TV fame that was so beautifully and ironically illustrated in "To Die For?" The Suzanne character played by Kidman believes you're not anybody in America unless you're on TV, and asks rhetorically: "What's the point of doing anything worthwhile if nobody's watching? And if people are watching, it makes you a better person." Does being constantly connected to large audiences through these new media somehow satisfy this need or bestow greater significance to our twittering lives? Or does it further trivialize us?

I don't twitter. However, the connections I've made on FB are meaningful--although most of my exchanges are friendly nonsense. On the other hand, blogs (like yours) are very useful.

stevelundberg said...

If you're interested in a quick read on this topic, I just finished "The Cult of the Amateur" by Andrew Keen. He comes across a bit elitist at times, but he makes a strong case for how potentially destructive this new hyperinstantconnectedness could be to our economy, culture and values.

Anonymous said...

kinda sums it up:

Dave Allen said...

I had a long-winded thought about Facebook Linkedin and Twitter as Past Present and Future. Trying to make sense of which platform works best as I use them. Here's the post - Past Present Future

MattM said...

For me, Facebook and Twitter aren't about getting famous a la "To Die For" and they're not time wasters. If anything, they're time SAVERS.

I'll always keep in touch with my long-time friends no matter what, but I also have a large group of acquaintance friends that I'm interested to know what they're up to. But doing that on an individual basis would be nearly impossible.

With FB or Twitter, I can keep track of all the interesting things they're doing in about 15 minutes a day.

The flip side is it makes it easier for me to communicate with them. When I got laid off, instead of taking a week or more to call/email/talk to everyone and tell them I'm back freelancing, it took just one Facebook update and everyone knew within an hour.

None of them are inherently bad. They all just tools and it's up to you how you decide to use them.

I'm Jelly said...

Wow... It's cool that they see their own potential and not going after a fast (and large!) buck from Facebook.