Is Twitter the equivalent of intellectual crack?
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I have been pretty open about my relationship with Twitter, making me feel dumb and look stupid. Today, I’m wondering if it feeds an inner addict in some. To be honest, I am starting to see the applications, but I think it may be the ultimate intellectual form of crack. Others of you who may follow folks who tweet inane details of their life, might not agree with the intellectual label (maybe it’s informational crack for you?). But, when I find something really insightful, intriguing, mentally stimulating on Twitter, I immediately click on it. The shortened URLs actually make it worse, because you don’t know what the link is leading you to, and that’s part of the addiction. You (I) really want to know.
For those who can’t wait to share their latest finding, it is the. greatest. tool. ever. But, when I step away from my computer and come back to find out there are many new tweets, I can see how one could easily lose an entire day in Twitter. Each tweet is like a little hit of that crack, and you can’t really stop yourself from refreshing the screen or following a link or replying/retweeting. You spend hours each day reading blog posts, articles, checking out new sites/tools, etc. But it’s never enough. For people with Big Shiny Object Syndrome or ADD, I think it could be a debilatating service. And when you get that “Twitter is over capacity” screen, it is like delaying gratification for a junkie.
The problem is, that I’ve found lots of really great stuff on Twitter, so I’ll have to categorize myself as a “recreational user”, rather than full-on junkie. Not sure how to maintain that, could be a slippery slope. Any suggestions? Is it limit the number of people you follow? (I already dropped the globe and mail, after 2 hours, and a hundred tweets, ugh). Is it about following quality people?
The other thing to note is not the content, but the connection aspect of Twitter – it’s addictive, too. You respect someone in your field, (or a “famous person”), and you can actually connect to them. People I think of as thought leaders are following me after I started following them! Why? I’m mostly retweeting their insightful stuff. What’s the point of following a nobody like me?
Maybe they like my blog posts…
PS – is it just ironic that I put the Tweet button on the post?