Last night at about 2am I finally bowed to the pressure to sign up for Twitter. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I have a tendency towards, shall we say, over-analyzing. I like to deliberate, which is generally not as highly valued an approach as on-demand spontaneous displays of genius, but I’m not sure that uninhibited exposure of my every thought is the solution to that problem. (And yes, I realize that “on-demand” and “spontaneous” are, by nature, in conflict.)
There are a few other reasons that I’ve been resisting Twitter.
- What’s going to happen to quiet contemplation? I live in New York CIty, a place where there is nearly constant sensory input. Having a peaceful moment to oneself is a rare enough occurrence. If we have no internal thoughts that stay private, will we lose the skills to develop careful thought?
- I don’t like what this kind of thing has done to my inner monologue. I hate to admit it, but I already find myself narrating my activities in a format compliant with Facebook status updates. It annoys me, but I can’t help it.
- I already suffer from information overload in many aspects of my life. This is not going to help.
- I adore my friends, and I feel disappointed when I don’t have time to communicate with them as much as I’d like. But I don’t want Twitter to take the place of personal communication, and I definitely don’t want to be held responsible for failing to diligently follow their exposed inner monologues.
- At the same time, I wonder if it’s wise to subject my twitter subscribers to my every thought. Look at me, I’m sharing! So what? There’s probably a reason why most of these thoughts are internal. The ones that are valuable usually come up again, at which point I share them, discuss them, and write about them.
Well, we’ll see. At this point I have been on Twitter less than 24 hours. Maybe I’ll love it and be converted. Maybe I’ll find it an indispensable communication tool. And maybe it will even encourage me to engage in more spontaneous, unedited thinking. If I find that to be true, I’m sure you’ll be able to read about my experiences here.
(In the meantime, here’s a link to my twitter feed, if you’re curious to see how it’s progressing. No promises about the quality of the content!)