I like to think of myself as pretty clued-up and on the ball in the crazy land of the World Wide Web.
One thing I have never got the hang of though is on-the-go status updates.
Until recently, I thought status updates were just an annoying by-product of Facebook, an outlet for that girl you used to know to tell the world she is “counting down the days…only 29 sleeps ’til Europe!”, or the slightly disturbed guy from your old job letting you know he is “fumin that his ex thinks it’s ok to lie and that I should accept it as if nothing has changed!!!!!”*
But now it appears that the whole of the online media community has gone mad for Twitter, a not-so-new craze allowing you to update your status anywhere at any time and deliver it to all of your ‘friends’, just in case they missed the fact that you have to go to the toilet one last time before bed.
Sarah Hartley argues that Twitter is just a bit of fun and “those who aren’t fans of the social network can click off to something else”, but the fact remains that I don’t get it.
If I want to let someone know what I’m doing, how I’m feeling or when I plan to eat my sandwiches, I send them a text message or an email.
So why is the whole world and his web-shaped wife going mad for this kind of thing?
Under the brilliantly succinct heading ‘Why?’, Twitter’s website offers one of the funniest explanations for anything ever.
“Running late to a meeting? Your co–workers might find that useful,” it begins. Ok, fair point.
“Partying? Your friends may want to join you,” it goes on. Understandable. Everybody needs to know where the party’s at.
But then comes the piece de resistance.
“Eating soup? Research shows that moms want to know.”
And that pretty much sums it up.
Social networking tools can indeed be useful for sharing links, cracking jokes or keeping in touch with friends.
But when it comes to recording your every waking move, there is only one thing to say:
*All statuses are verbatim copies but names have been withheld to protect the innocent.