Thursday, January 13, 2011

Life without Twitter: a failed experiment

Posted By on Thu, Jan 13, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Every now and then, it's nice to experiment.

I've cut my hair into at least a dozen insane (and ultimately unflattering) styles, changed my "look" to the detriment of my wallet, switched up my social scene seasonally, and poked around with countless gadgets, systems and tech-related odds and ends. Some experiments led to incredible discoveries. Others, well, they got dropped like hot potatoes.

A few weeks ago, I deleted my Twitter account in a fit of ultimate silliness.

For a few days, I didn't miss it.  After a week, I began to check my phone, longing for the occasional update. What happened next led me to wonder what it was about this service, network, platform — whatever you want to call it — that stole my heart. Why couldn't I live without Twitter?

What I discovered led me to a few realizations about myself that highlight and expand upon the universal popularity of this micro-broadcasting tool.

I'm A Social Person

I already kinda knew this, but never really took the time to fully appreciate the deeply-seated nature of this quality. I like knowing other people are around. Yes, there's a certain nicety to occasional solitude, but almost no one wants to be a hermit. Twitter, on it's most basic level, feeds and nurtures this very human desire to be around people — even in a digital space. Whether or not this constant companionship breeds a healthy mental space is debatable, but there's an inarguable social security blanket facet of Twitter that attracts (and keeps) members.

I'm Nosy

I wouldn't go so far as to self-proclaim myself a gossip. I am, however, an innately curious person. It's led me to discoveries and experiences only an open and constantly wandering mind can. However mundane a goodly portion of the updates found on Twitter may be, quite a few incredible stories gain edge, familiarity, and proximity in the Twitter-verse. I can think of several local news stories whose content was greatly enhanced by the contributions of other nosy people on Twitter. Photos, video, and first-hand commentary enhance and enrich especially local newscasts, adding humanity and a vested interest to traditional broadcasts.

I'm A Loud-Mouth

Again, I wouldn't really classify myself as a gossip (though two bullet points definitely indicate a trend). There are, however, a number of things I'd love to tell the world about. I'm definitely not alone in this: Hollywood's popularized the ecstatic moment of standing on the rooftop, mountaintop, etc. and shouting to the world; the image of the paperboy raising issues above his head shouting out, "Extra! Extra!" remains one of the American newspaper's most iconic figures; more than one speech-making fantasy involves silencing a room with a tapped wine glass for a world-shaking announcement. Twitter, though significantly less climactic, grants an outlet to those with a need to share.

These discoveries led me to one conclusion: I had to have it back.

So, dear Twitter, accept this blog as my official, and humble, apology.  I turned my back on you and stubbornly refused to admit my mistake or acknowledge your empty spot in my heart. I miss your constant all-hours updates and the way you helped me choose interesting feeds.

Please take me back?

— @techrrriot

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