David Harsanyi at Reason Mag writes:
Twitter’s popularity and usefulness are mysteries to me. Pressed by personal, professional, and cultural forces, I sporadically deploy short missives for fear of becoming one of those cantankerous technophobes who is too dense to recognize the miracle of letting “followers” know he hates raisins or that he loved the finale of Mad Men.
Now not only am I expected to transmit this minutiae mere seconds after I think it but also some 20-year-old in California has decreed that I must do it within the brevity of 140 characters. This need for conciseness, in fact, induces normally articulate friends of mine to write in Prince lyrics—recklessly using “2” and “4” and “U” as words.
To this point, I’ve found Twitter so aggressively worthless that I was forced to research exactly what I am missing. In the process, I stumbled across a useful New York Times tech column penned by David Pogue that clarified all. The headline read, “Twitter? It’s What You Make It.”
In summation, like your beloved pet rock, Twitter is useful only in your imagination.
I would like to suggest Twitter is remarkably useful; by opening up the world to what is essentially a giant cocktail party, there is now a way to access remarkably interesting people with a variety of viewpoints, ideas, and talents.
This week, my wife and I met someone we both follow on Twitter in person. She’s a photographer and marketer from CT who is moving to the Baltimore area. We had breakfast with her at the Blue Moon Diner after an exchange on Twitter between she and my wife about good breakfast in Baltimore.
Our new friend is about our age, remarkably personable, and would easily fit into our circle of friends. I think David misses the entire possibility that you can use Twitter to build real relationships with real, interesting people. People who someday might come to your house for dinner.
There’s a huge value there.
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