Why More Identi.Ca, Less Twitter
To be honest, the experience when I changed my Twitter avatar for Christmas left a bad taste in my mouth. It made me more circumspect when it comes to tweeting, even dreading it really. If posting about the weather elicits such a negative reaction… and unfollowing someone makes me a stupid whore… Plus, the stalkers I picked up there who tried to break into my accounts. Gosh, it made me ask why I should needlessly expose my psyche to even just the possibility of more such attacks.
Yes, I’m old enough to know that those incidents reflect the personalities of those people rather than the content of my tweets. And I do take precautions to keep safe. Still, it made me yearn for the early days of Twitter.
The service has changed a lot since it started. Twitter used to be a great way to express your thoughts without suffering the consequences of vocalizing those thoughts in real life to the people sitting next to you on the bus or wherever. You’d announce to the ether what you were doing — some friends could check what you were up to without bothering you and at their leisure; a few would subscribe to SMS notifications if they wanted. If you found some stranger’s tweets funny or insightful, you’d follow her or even just visit her page from time to time without following her, but there were no social obligations.
Today, Twitter is all about social networking and @ replies. Because “what’s the point” if you don’t connect, right? But not having a point was precisely what made Twitter fun. It was self-indulgent. Me, me, me!! Carefree… no pressure. If you wanted to tweet, “I’m feeling pretty.” because you felt that way but couldn’t say it out loud in a restaurant while waiting for a date, go right ahead. Today, in the current climate on Twitter, there’s at least one stranger who would feel compelled to ruin your mood.
I do realize that things evolve. Twitter is not worse, just different, maybe even better for certain purposes, especially now that everyone is signing up. I do recommend people do that — sign up! — because you would be totally behind the times if you don’t. Diddy is there! Shaq is there! George Stephanopoulos!!! “Yeah, I’m on Twitter. Who isn’t?” I’ll be sending updates there to issue announcements and to maybe tweet live when I go back to covering events.
But in terms of answering the question “What are you doing?” on a personal level, I’m using identi.ca and pinging it simultaneously to other networks where people won’t distract me with messages. I just need an outlet to express trivial thoughts, but I don’t have the psychological wherewithal to brace myself for whatever reaction unknown people have to my updates. That’s the same reason I don’t allow comments. If you find something informative, great. But I won’t make it easy for inútiles to tell me to go f*ck myself.
My status is BUSY. Don’t bother me.