What are you doing?
It’s a simple question that millions of people answer on Twitter.com every day. The social networking phenomenon has grown more than 1000% over the past year.
But not everyone is “following.”
Kristen from North Andover wrote on our curiosity website: “Where do people find the time to twitter all day? What is their psychological makeup?”
Kristen is a curious mom. She’s got a laptop, she’s on Facebook, but she won’t do Twitter, where you share what you’re doing in less than 140 characters. It’s called a “Tweet.”
“I can’t find the time to send out a tweet,” she says.
Unlike Facebook, strangers can become your “followers.”
“I have to find people to follow and who am I going to follow, and searching for them,” says Kristen in an exasperated tone.
In researching this story, I joined Twitter (follow David). It was easy and fun.
But Kristen is right about one thing. Sometimes what you’re doing isn’t that interesting.
So why are we sharing so much? I tweeted a person named “Pistachio” who has 36-thousand followers. Pistachio is really Laura Fitton and she’s the author of a book called “Twitter for Dummies.” She’s also the author of 26-thousand tweets.
“There was a time that I was tweeting a lot,” she says. But then her friends said enough is enough.
“We had an intervention,” says Laura.
She also says Twitter can build relationships and it saves time.
“If you tried to call 20 friends every day to see how they are doing you’d spend all day on the phone,” says Laura.
But is it really worth telling everyone the minutia of your life? “Somebody always picks up on some part of it and it resonates,” Laura adds.
But psychiatrist Dr. Robert Pyles says even though there’s a lot of good that can come out of social networking he has a warning.
“It can be very exhibitionistic,” he says.
Dr. Pyles keeps up with friends on Facebook and says, like anything else, there’s good and bad.
The good, forming real relationships and strengthening the ones you have.
The bad- “It’s kind of like being a kid and having a group of imaginary playmates,” according to Dr. Pyles. And yet, he says it can also free us from social isolation.
Laura Fitton agrees.
“There are 5 or 6 people that I will know for the rest of my life that I never would have met without Twitter,” she says.
And who knows, maybe Kristen and Pistachio will be friends. Total strangers now, but just one tweet away.
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