I hate twitter. I make no secret about that. I have no desire whatsoever to read inane posts about the minute details of people’s lives. I deal with that sort of thing enough when I live through the more boring parts of my own life. I can’t stand the fact that people can now export their twitters into their blogs because it means that to find the meandering, thought-provoking posts I love I have to wade through lists of mindless tweets. For similar reasons, I also hate facebook status feeds. If I want to know the minutiae of someone’s life, I ask them. I don’t want it popping up on my screen in feeds and blogs where I didn’t expect or desire it. The entire thing seems very hollow to me. I could follow someone’s tweets for an entire year without feeling even remotely close to them, whereas having one deep conversation with someone or following their (thoughtful) blog can foster a much more substantial connection than seeing them every day.
I read a New York Times Magazine article that explains how twitter, facebook feeds etc. can create a state of ambient awareness that makes people more connected to each other. I’m skeptical, but here’s the article:
NY Times Magazine Article
However, that’s not the point of this post. In the Jan 16-22 issue of The Boston Phoenix, there is an article titled “Novel Idea: Twitter Fiction, Post-Modernism, Post by 140-Character Post” that I found interesting. In the article, Mike Miliard talks about people who are writing novels with twitter. Some of those people are writing novels together, one tweet at a time. Now this is an idea I actually like. When I was a child I used to love telling group stories. My friends and I would sit around and make up a story together, each person contributing a chunk and then passing the job to the next, until we had reached the (usually crazy) ending. In recent years, I’ve tried doing this in livejournal comments and the results were similarly entertaining. I don’t anticipate joining twitter anytime soon, but perhaps my next blog post will be a group story…
Boston Phoenix Article