More Thoughts on Twitter

The more I use Twitter, the more I’m getting the hang of it.

A program like Tweetdeck definitely helps. I’ve been organizing all the folks I follow into categories like friends and writers, and I’ve gotten around to following writers like Neil Gaiman and Mur Lafferty, (that’s been good) lesser known writers like me who are just starting out, and big name groups like Writers Digest.  So that’s been really helpful, but there’s a downside to all of it.

This past Sunday, while I was cleaning my room, I kept Tweetdeck open and I was amazed at all the prolific tweets that kept coming through. Man, do people even have a life anymore? Then I realized that most of these tweets were coming from people who had cellphones, so they would text their tweets anywhere and not be tied to a computer all the time.

Sigh. I wish I had a cellphone.

Not that I had anyone to call. That was the main reason we don’t have one. We don’t really need one, not with both my hubby and me working at the same place, and no one really calling us except at home, and I don’t care I want a cell phone because i want to text people all the time and I want to look cool walking down the street and i want a phone that plays the first opening bars to "We Are Pop Candy" and i want to pull it out in meetings and fiddle with it when i’m bored and if i want to do something i want to text all my girlfriends and tell them to meet me at the mall and i want one iwantone IWANTONE!!!!

Um, okay. I think that’s the first time my inner child took control of the keyboard. That was…weird…

It does bother me, though, that it seems it’s much easier to text people than to actually call them up. When I was a teen, I used to gab on the phone all the time, even when I had nothing to say. Especially if I had nothing to say. In fact, there would be long stretches of time when me and the caller didn’t say anything, because we would be watching TV on the phone and we would remark occasionally. But now, I can’t really fathom calling people on the phone. It makes me nervous. Something about running out of things to say and sounding pretty trite. It feels easier just to send them a comment on Facebook. Or tweet them.

What does that say about our generation? About future generations? Is communication going to get reduced to a few characters thrown off a keyboard rather than face to face?

Okay, this is getting too deep. What was I talking about? Oh. Twitter.

I realized that I forgot to mention my Twitter name in the last post. If you want to follow me, my handle is TboneJenkins. Feel free to follow me; in fact, you’d probably stand a better chance to follow me on Twitter than Facebook. I’ve grown pretty picky over who I allow as a friend on Facebook, since I tend to do stuff towards close friends and family like post photos and whatnot. However, with Twitter, I want to keep things more writing related—post my writing updates, tweet links to stories I like, share a comment or two on the writing life. Of course, I’ll tweet when I post updates to the Cafe.

Also, if you wish for me to follow you, let me know in the comments section. Always looking for new folks to check out.

And now, if you excuse me. It’s a mere two days before Wiscon. I gotta get preparing for that.  Even though I’m just going for one day.

The Amazing Super Colossal Technicolor Twitter and Facebook Juggling Act! (Or how to waste time poking nothingness…)

I don’t get Twitter.

I never got on board with it when it came out a couple of years ago. I didn’t see a need for it. Why would I want to let the whole world what I’m doing at that very exact moment? Folding my hubby’s underwear doesn’t work for an interesting status line. Well, okay, yes it does, but that’s only because my hubby isn’t on Facebook or Twitter. But really, who would want to read that? So I pretty much stayed away from Twitter.

Then Facebook grew popular and it seemed like everyone I knew was getting on it, so I shrugged and gave in. And everyone’s right. It is addictive. Which is odd because Facebook is only Twitter expanded with more features. You get the benefits of photo sharing, chat, email, groups, you name it. But really, I mainly use FB for the status updates of my friends…which isn’t all that different from Twitter, now that I think about it. However, whereas people could tweet every few seconds, Facebook doesn’t seem all that urgent. I’m happy to update my status every day or so. Some people do it more, others less.

But lately, it seems that Twitter has been growing more popular, particularly among the writing world, as the language of tweets began to evolve. You can now reply to someone else’s tweet using ‘@’ in front of their username.  Tweets that are about a certain topic are preceded with a #, so if you want to search Twitter on, say, Amazonfail, you can just put #amazonfail in Twitter’s search box and you get all the tweets on that. And, of course, you can put tiny URLs in your tweets. So it seems that Twitter has evolved from a “Hey, look at what I’m doing” to an informal message board/newsgroup of sorts. How do you think AmazonFail got exposed in the first place? If it wasn’t for Twitter, people wouldn’t have found out.

Stuff like that makes me think that it’s time for me to stop being so standoffish about Twitter and just knuckle down to learn about it. Twitter and Facebook can be powerful tools. It’s a good way to connect with writers and agents, hear about the latest writing news, and keep an eye on the marketplace. Plus, it’s a good place to get freebies. Authors and publishing houses would post free books, games, etc. And I’m going to figure out how to utilize Facebook better. I can see the appeal of Twitter, but I also really like Facebook in that it’s more personal. I’ve been leery of letting strangers become my friends on Facebook, because my friends are people I really want to keep in touch with. Twitter, on the other hand, is good for getting word out to as many people as possible. Good for short story updates and whatnot.

So what is the purpose of this post anyway? Mainly to get me excited about Twitter. I mean, for all intensive purposes, it’s still got a sucky interface (although someone did alert me to Tweetdeck for organizing both FB and Twitter, so I’m playing with that.) And there are still a lot of tweets that are mainly “just put a load of laundry in the wash” or “Awww, I’m all out of candy” and really boring stuff like that. Course, with Facebook, there’s all the “What type of Disney Princess are you” and all the “Send your Friend a Flower/Chocolate/Smiley Face/Dancing Toadstool/Mardi Gras/Cheating Alien/Moose” gifts that pile up in my request box until I sweep them all away with one click.

But I guess for using these things for free, I really shouldn’t complain now, should I?

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