Rant Tuesday: Don’t Stand So Close to Me

As a continuation of sorts from last week’s rant, I’ve taken some consideration on the other side of useless information that I collect a lot… personal information. Whether it’s from Twitter,Facebook, or Reddit, they’re all inane slice of life messages from people famous for doing something totally unrelated to their daily life. Looking over my tweets, in terms of getting tweets about things that I can learn and use improve my craft, the signal to noise ratio is about… 4%? and that’s on a good day.

What it does, though, it make me feel so impersonally personal that I admire. I’m nowhere near these people geographically, but when I read about their daily routine it is as if I am their roommate or office buddy, watching their every move. We’ve gone from a daily entry in LiveJornal to the hourly updates of MySpace and Facebook to the minute updates of Twitter. With every increase in frequency we’re that much closer to one another.

And that closeness creates tremendous friction. For people with tens of thousands of followers, each twitter account is just an incubation chamber waiting to explode. Unscreened by publicists and instantly connected to fans and haters, there had been many instances where in the heat of the moment respectable people end up tweeting horrible things, and because everyone is still coming to grip with the fact that all writings on the internet are public and permanent, the disaster explodes instantly over all the relevant media outlets.

Twitter is a useful tool… it’s a amazing way to get a one-to-many message across the entire network. However, I think it’s being used altogether too much right now. Don’t stand so close to me – if you speak, please say something that I’d need to think about!

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