Thoughts on the Nature of Bird Calls or Do I Hear a Tweet?

March 16, 2010

There was a time when a tweet was simply a bird calling to its mate but not any more. It’s now a human activity and it's changing the face of social interaction. Just thinking about what’s happening with technology in general, and social media in particular gives me a headache. The jargon alone is enough to daunt Daniel Webster. Here’s a case in point. The other day I thought I would go into to learn how to use Twitter more effectively. I soon discovered that in order to understand mashable’s explanations you need a dictionary to find the meaning of words like hashtage, trending, twubs, and wiki. Fortunately I was directed to Tagalus, a site where there’s a simple dictionary for hashtags. But wait a minute! Was this really going to help me? Here is one of the entries I found:

Awg “After Work Gedeck”—a sort of tweetup every Friday after work somewhere in Berlin/Mitte. Place will be announced.

ARE THESE PEOPLE EVEN SPEAKING ENGLISH?  There was some mention of Berlin so maybe it’s a hybrid of German and English—Gerlish perhaps?

In all seriousness, social networking is here to stay and we might as well get with the program as they say. As I was googling for information to write this blog entry I found out that even the Dalai Lama is now on Twitter so I immediately signed on as a follower (I am one of about 180,000 following his holiness). He joined in February, has made 47 tweets to date and is following no one—which is probably good because I think he simply follows his heart.

I now have 91 followers and hopefully these people are following me because they feel that what I put out there has value unlike those “in your face” tweeters that send out hundreds of tweets a day that look like very involved math equation. I’m not sure that people who have that much time on their hands have anything of value to add to my day.

When I tweet I take my time to figure out what I’m going to say because I want it to be meaningful. I’m not about to tell people what I had for breakfast or that I just had to make a dash for the bathroom because I might explode if I sit one minute longer at my computer reading other people’s tweets that I can’t understand any way. Gosh, I've probably used more than 140 characters to say that so if it were a tweet I'd have to edit to fit it all in!

We have landed in the midst of a virtual world where web language, instant messaging, social networking, blogging and tweeting often take precedence over personal contact. But when I see people sitting in their favorite cafe having a good old fashioned conversation over a cup of cofee  I realize that all is not lost.


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