Friday, March 13, 2009

No Tweeting

When it comes to technology, I’m not a so-called early adopter. Despite all my blogging and digital photography, it takes me a while to warm up to technological advances. I’m a luddite at heart.

(I didn’t even get a cell phone until 2006 or so, after a trip to Chicago where I could not find a pay phone to save my life. I realized a cell phone was a necessity, but even now we have a prickly relationship. Sometimes I leave it at home just for the heck of it.)

Some Web stuff I’ve taken to pretty well. I really like Facebook, for example, which lets me maintain contact with hundreds of people all at once, and to give special attention as warranted. I have about 300 Facebook friends -- which one of my non-virtual friends says puts me squarely in the category of “Facebook whore” -- and some of them are people I haven’t seen in years.

Generally speaking, if you ask to be friended and I know you or have known you in the past, I’ll friend you. Who am I to reject someone’s outstretched hand? Consequently, a couple of my Facebook friends are people I barely knew in high school, or people I know only through work. Some of the work friends are people I’ve never met face-to-face, but have dealt with over the phone or otherwise. Some of them have even left the company since, but we’re still friends, which is a little weird, frankly.

On the other hand, I sometimes get friend requests from people I don’t know at all. These, I ignore. I have to know you -- even if just barely -- to be your Facebook friend. Seems fair, right?

All in all, Facebook has been a blast. I've reconnected with old friends I haven't spoken to in years, going back to people I knew in elementary school. It's great to see what everyone is up to.

On the other end of the Web technology spectrum is Twitter. I have a Twitter account, but I have never taken to Twitter and don’t understand why I would want to. Walking around with a little mobile device, sending out “tweets,” just seems way too obsessive to me.

So, you know, to each his own.

(Photo: I took these shots of the Empire State Building from Fifth Avenue while walking home from work a few nights ago. The clouds were low, reflecting the light from the tower, which was a cool effect.)


  1. I live with a Twitterer (or is he a Tweeter?) as you well know. In fact he might have first introduced you to Twitter. I'm convinced some people do things just to keep touching technology. Twitter seems like one of those things. It's way too obsessive for me!

  2. B: I think I had my Twitter account before, but David was one of the first (and only) people I ever really followed. I didn't realize he was still Twittering. Clearly I need to log in sometime and catch up!

  3. Agreed on all counts ... no tweets for me, either!

  4. Like you, I'm part Luddite at heart. Because of my work and training, however, I see the benefits of technology, especially amongst persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, much of this is beyond the that population's pocketbook, even in the realm if personal computers. This restricts access to social networking and a host of other things, so it's important to address these needs at an institutional level, which because money is involved, is often slow. In libraries, the databases, Internet and catalog interfaces are now all electronic, but there are not enough computers for the demand, broadband expenses keep rising and many needed accomodations lag behind. Technology, even elements like Facebook and others, make it possible for enterprising librarians to reach their patrons and others. On the other side, elements of my job have become easier, while accessibility issues and the Internet for some is often more difficult than you might surmise.

    There is good and bad in the world of tech, Twitter included. We just have to be willing to invest in working toward solutions.

    I am not a Tweeter; I got my first Internet-capable computer in 2004 and learned how to navigate the Internet in the late nineties courtesy of free classes at my local library. My cell phone is a cheapy Tracfone bought in 2006. It works and I am not tied to anything contract-wise. You can buy the phone for ten bucks, so if it gets lost, stolen or damaged, I'm not out much. Sorry this is so long...

  5. I recently joined Twitter, not long after I joined FB. I don't do "mobile" Tweets, but I do use it to post status updates. (I have it set to post to Facebook, so when I update my status on Twitter, it updates my status on FB.)

    I joined Twitter as an experiment after reading several blogging friends who use it to post haiku and such. The challenge, of course, is to say something interesting or evocative in 140 characters.

    So far, I'm enjoying that aspect of "micro-blogging," but I have no desire to "Tweet" every last second of my life. For me, posting something in the morning & something in the evening is enough, with occasional peeks during the day to see and/or respond to what other folks are doing, just as I do with FB.

  6. This post would be better with pictures of dead cats.

  7. I, too, love FB. I don't have nearly as many friends (only 100) but it has put me in touch with old friends who were so dear to me.

    You're good at the status report part of FB - it's an art, almost like haiku in a way.

    The pics of Empire State are truly gorgeous. Wow!

  8. Luddite at heart -- funny. also to "twitter" seems obsessive? ...I never heard of it until this post. it sounds bad though.