Putting the twit in Twitter

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By John Whitlock

Maybe I’m old or just plain grouchy, but I don’t get Twitter.

For those of you who may have not caught up with the latest internet fad, Twitter is an Internet-based, social-networking service that allows the user to send short messages to a group of friends. Since the messages can’t be larger than 140 characters, it’s designed to give friends just a little taste of what’s going on in your life.

From friends who use the service, I’m told messages frequently are just rather mundane moments: “finally made it to Lexington” or “waiting for the laundry to get done.”


Maybe I’m missing the charm here.

At first glance, these messages would seem to be dull and inane tidbits that would have little interest for others.

But on second glance, well, I came up with the same opinion.

I don’t expect to ever use Twitter. My life just isn’t that exciting. If I was climbing Everest or tracking Bigfoot through the wilds of Owen County, then the world might be interested.

But I doubt my dearest of friends care if I’m stuck in traffic on my way to the Dollar General for toilet paper.

I guess most Twitterers think that their friends really do need to know exactly what they’re doing at any given moment.

Perhaps Twitter is something we commoners have to use if we’re not famous enough to have a gypsy band of paparazzi follow our every move?

As the world moves into the digital age, communication between friends, family and the world becomes easier and easier. The Pony Express took 10 days to deliver a letter from Missouri to California. Now, I can Twitter a friend in Iraq the important message, “Can’t find my left shoe! LOL” in a couple of seconds.

So we can improve the delivery system but is the message itself worth delivering?

Wired Magazine said Twitter is “almost like ESP.”

Well, I don’t particularly want my mind read and I would probably be shocked and disappointed to read the minds of my friends and family. Not because I don’t have interesting friends, but because every moment of your life is not supposed to be shared, examined or offered up for public display. Life tends to be too routine.

Remember, you can’t spell Twitter without a twit.