20 Aug 2007
On Keeping Up
I am a couple of months behind in reading Wired, and just came across Clive Thomson’s article on Twitter. Anyone who follows me (OK, just Yoz) knows how infrequently I update. It’s about like this blog. There are two bits of it that struck a chord with me:
Productivity guru Tim Ferriss calls Twitter “pointless email on steroids.”
I had a very similar reaction to it when I first stumbled across it. The extent to which this still resonates with me doubtless has something to do with how little I update my twitter stream.
Scrolling through random Twitter messages can’t explain the appeal. You have to do it — and, more important, do it with friends.
I have a number of colleages — some of whom I like quite a bit who twitter. But when I was layed off from EA, I learned the difference between colleagues and friends, so I count a very small number of friends. And as far as I know, none of them twitter. As far as I know, none of them are on linkedin.com or facebook.com. I can forgive them for not being on myspace.com which just feels like crappy templates for people who can’t make their own web pages — oh and a great place for bands to get heard.
I remember as a young adult (or older child?), frustration with my dad who would double-click when only a single click would suffice. Or, he’d forget to shift- or command-click where appropriate. That’s when the technology divide based on age really hit home for me. Now my grandmother was a computer user, so I knew it wasn’t strictly age, but I didn’t get the sense that she was espeically computer savvy, just capable.
I was talking about this with one of my friends 12-or-so years ago and he expressed a nonchalant non-concern. We were both computer professionals, after all. But, in a sense, I think it’s already happened.
Young adult me could provide technical detail for every mac on the market including configuration options; and that was even before I became an Apple Student Rep. Now? I know they come with Intel chips, and OSX Leopard comes out some time this fall. And it’s not just Macs. It feels like computers in general. While I have a lot deeper (and probably also broader) knowledge of computing in general, and am a cog in the wheel that is helping redefine virtual space, I certainly feel like I’ve lost some combination of time and enthusiasm for the bleeding edge.
I’d love to blame this on parenthood. Certainly as a parent, and full-time worker, I have little time left over for computer play, but it’s more than that, or my affliction would be less than 2 years old 🙂 What’s worse is that I don’t even know what exactly it is.
Suffice it to say, that when I do twitter, it is, in some measure, specifically to fend this off. To try to continue to understand, if not appreciate, the avant-garde in computing.