Getting My Toes Wet in Twitter

August 12, 2009 | 1 Comment

Category: Web

Once a month I attend a group of about 25 social media and web 2.0 aficionados specializing in the use of online tech tools for nonprofits.  At Net Tuesday some are programmers, many are staff members in nonprofit organizations, there is the occasional entrepreneur, a web application company employee and consultants.

I got on Twitter the beginning of this year, largely as a result of how often discussions turned to that application.  I finally started using it this May.

My connection to technology is, I believe, unique.  I am a technophobe by many definitions.  I experience anxiety when having to interpret and use hardware like a cell phone or a recording device, such as a VCR or DVD.  So, I don’t explore.  On my cell phones I’ve never learned to do anything but dial a number.  I don’t know how to text or retrieve a phone number.  Until the last couple years I just left my phone off unless I was making an outgoing call.  I can’t get the VCR working without my wife’s assistance.

Perhaps my greatest technological letdown was buying my first computer, a Mac, around 1992, in no small part to be able to log onto the Well, an early web community.  Two weeks I tried to get the modem to let me in.  The folks at the Well tried to help me over the phone.  I could not do it.  It would be years before I finally got online.

Yet, I run a web development company that, in addition to serving almost 400 clients, performs unique programming feats based upon innovations I think up.

So, I feel like an outsider in an industry that thrives on technological prowess.  Yet, as an artist and as someone with deep respect for software and some facility with design software, I get by.

Regarding Twitter, I don’t use it in connection with my cell phone.  I have the window open on my desktop where I view what’s being posted by folks I follow.  I post once a day.

Listening to the folks at the Net Tuesday group, it is clear that Twitter is making a significant difference in some people’s lives.  When Twitter is integrated with Facebook and a blog it seems to offer opportunities for ubiquitous communication, which seems a big plus for those whose personal and professional identities are becoming integrally tied to their ability to deeply interface with a group.  Twitter’s contribution does not seem to be the deep part of the deep interface but more an ongoing opportunity to be aware of the boundaries of the experience.

Of the maybe 60 friends I email when I post a piece on my blog that I like a lot, maybe 30 visit the link I provide.  On Twitter, only one of those 60 friends had started using it. Almost 90 people followed me on Twitter.  In May, literally no one followed a link that I would post.

I might conclude that Twitter is only as good as the number of real friends that accompany me on the device.  In the meantime, I use it to observe the passing of news (I follow several media outlets) and wry, pithy statements by humorists and cartoonists.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 at 7:33 am and is filed under Web. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
1 Comment so far

  1. Coy on December 6, 2012 2:32 am

    Autism to me is a mystery My son will be 20 in a month and still no cause has been found for ausitm,it seems to be increasing.I pray for a cure.It was hard when my son was little because he had the ausitm, dev delays,and adhd,every day was a struggle and then no sooner had he outgrown his adhd his hormones kicked in and along with it,the dreaded OCD, which I was told was common with teens with Autism.My son William can tell you anything about history from Civil War to yesterday but can barely count simple change.He can walk 3 miles from my house to get to the mall and make it there safe but can’t comprehend the directions on a microwave meal(after catching 2 on fire, microwave is off limits without help).My son is aware of all the deficits he has,he knows he has Autism and in his words feels humiliated ,this makes me so sad because if I could turn back time and make him normal,I’d choose not to because he has so many special qualities that I treasure but he does not see those qualities,he feels alone and left behind by the system who promised to help him,the help has been slow coming since he turned 18.I guess what bothers me the most is the fact that there is no support group for young adults with ausitm,who need that support and after age 18 often isolate themselves even more than when they were kids.There is a support group for parents of kids with ausitm, there is a support group for young kids with ausitm, there is even a support group for grandparents ,not one single group for the ones that need it the very most in my opinion young adults age 18 and over.I pray one day this changes

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