I’ve been on Twitter now — @BrianLamken — for almost exactly six months. My reason for joining was as much to connect to folks with whom I’d fallen out of touch as to share my particular brand of pith. Honestly, I’ve wrestled with how to incorporate Twitter into a daily life that isn’t nearly as productive as I would like and that is far from conducive to participation in a site or app built around quick churn of neverending content. The same explanation holds at least in part for why it took me until the other day to finally join Facebook.
Giving up Twitter several times and then getting sucked back into it after checking
the feeds of a few eminently followable people finally let me comfortably arrive at my current relationship with the service, which is to post links to my blogs when I remember, throw out some random humor when I can, even participate in conversations when focus and priorities allow, all with the understanding that it’s gonna come ’n’ go. Twitter is basically a radio station made up of its users’ contributions: It’s always there, and you’re guaranteed to miss out on stuff you’d love to hear, but you can’t have it on all the time. You can’t be “on” all the time. You just have to let yourself tune in when you can. Facebook and the blogosphere are — chat rooms and bulletin boards and Usenet newsgroups are/were, since the dawn of cyberspace — the same way, although Twitter is so high-volume and has so many streams that it’s singularly impossible to catch everything (the understanding of which I think might ironically be an ingredient in what makes it easier to take it and leave it).
I realize that the preceding may sound ridiculously obvious, but from my experience
a good number of you will understand where I’m coming from. Some folks have a literal mania about being comprehensive, some folks think that they really can absorb it all, some folks don’t feel that it’s worthwhile — or representative of their own value as a participant — to engage with anything that they can’t engage with fully. While it can be hard to give in to the tide without feeling like you’re letting the technology beat you, in doing so you’re actually the one controlling the technology. Or to put it another way, Ain’t nobody gonna read the entire Internet.
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