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A Note to My Dad About Twitter

When I talk to my dad about using Twitter and social media for work, I always get the inevitable: “Why do people use Twitter, anyway? What a waste of time. I mean, honestly, who really cares if you went to the gym or what you had for dinner?” That is true, no one cares if you went to the gym or had KFC for dinner.

But there are some things I do care about. For example, a couple of months ago when I was driving down Mission St. in San Francisco, I saw a bank with a huge hole in the window. Was it a robbery? A bomb? At home, I checked news sites and Googled…nothing. Then I turned to Twitter, typed in a few key search terms, and within moments saw reports from people who witnessed a Mercedes drive into the bank. (Luckily, no one was hurt.) Folks even posted pictures via Twitpic — a third-party Twitter app that lets you share photos. See, that’s useful.

Another example is a neighborhood restaurant that tweets its daily menu. C’mon, that’s pretty handy as well. And, if I want to know who’s tweeting on a particular topic, I can use third-party TweetDeck to search for tweets and monitor a given term for mentions in the Twitterverse.

In an increasingly ADD, online, information-overloaded world, Twitter helps us cut to the chase quickly. (And probably perpetuates my own ADD.) Not to mention that, as a writer, Twitter helps me be clear and concise, not wasting a single extra word or character.

So you see, dad, there are some useful Twitter applications. Follow me @alexkrasne to find out what I ate.

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Filed under: web 2.0,

3 Responses

  1. chickflicks says:

    In many ways, I can relate to your dad’s opinion about Tweeter. It took me a while to even begin to understand what it is. The name just sounded bizarre, so I thought it was just another passing fad.
    Now that I know what it is, I don’t know how people have time for its constant updates. It took me years to give in to Facebook. After three of my classmates discovered I didn’t have an account, they sat me down and forced me to create one.
    I love Facebook now, but I can’t imagine adding Tweeter to my agenda.

  2. Ken says:

    As the Dad in question, I now understand the concept somewhat better, but still question Twitter’s utility. Twitter just seems like the digital era’s version of “The Truman Show” or “Ed Wood” which facilitates the substitution of the vicarious over the existential. But then, that’s just my opinion.

  3. akrasne says:

    It goes without saying that my dad is the smartest. In terms of “The Truman Show,” Truman didn’t know people were watching, whereas with Twitter people are well aware people are following. But, as you so rightly point out, in an age when people are nuts about their own privacy, Twitter seems to go against that. But in all actuality, Twitter lets you share as much or as little info as you’d like. Self-controlled voyeurism at its finest!

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