I have views on something I have never used. There are a plethora of blog posts out there (eg pockets of change and once a teacher) that extol the virtues of this new social networking phenomenon. For those still in the dark about what Twitter is, check out this talk from Evan Williams, the co-founder.
I am finding it hard to convince myself to take the plunge into the world of tweets. I am partly unconvinced of its uses, and partly afraid of what it might unleash. I cannot imagine why I would want to tell the world – in 140 characters or less – what I am doing at any given moment, or why I would want to know what anyone else is doing. Why oh why would I choose to follow someone? I don’t care that someone I have never met is about to go to a meeting, or get on a plane, or turn in for the night. It seems a tad voyeuristic to me. This is from someone who has so far resisted facebook or myspace. Countless people have tried in vain to convince me to use it. Yes, I can appreciate some advantages, especially for those of us living apart from many family and friends, but it boils down to this: I am already in touch with the people I want to keep in touch with. I don’t want to hear from someone I used to sit behind in primary school, or the person who lived in the dorm room down the hall at university. If I did, they would already be in my contacts list. I don’t have the time to see all the people I want to see in the flesh, let alone devote more time to folks online. And Twitter seems to compound this issue.
Despite this post that describes several ingenious ways to use Twitter in the classroom, I remain skeptical.
And then I read this article which explains how Twitter was used to attempt to locate and save lives during a skiing tragedy… so maybe there is something in it … maybe in the new era of web 2.0, natural selection will favour those with the most followers on Twitter, friends on facebook or contacts on skype.