Lean On Me
November 7, 2007
My long-time friend from college, David Miller, has written a wonderful post about Twitter, the internet and blogging in general. His post goes to the heart of why so many people enjoy sharing their thoughts and experiences online. I’ve often read that some people don’t “get” why individuals blog or why someone would express themselves on Twitter in 140 characters or less. Dave hits the nail on the head with this bit:
“I think that it helps us not feel alone in the situations whether they are good times or not so good. That there are others out there who have had these experiences that make us human. It’s also cathartic for me to help express whatever feelings I’m having at the time.”
In a world when people can sometimes go days or weeks without talking or interacting with friends and family face to face, it’s comforting to know that you can reach out via the “tubes” and feel connected instantly. Blogging allows people to express themselves to those who might never have ever met in real life. Twitter goes one step further and distills these expressions down to ultra-concise nuggets of internet gold. It parses whole conversations into manageable chunks that we can either pay attention to or completely ignore.
I liken it to when I was in college, hanging out in the dormitory lounge for hours on end. People would come and go, things were happening all around me. I could either choose to participate in the discussion by throwing out my own occasional 2 cents, or I could sit back, watch TV, and eavesdrop on those over my shoulder. I knew friends like Dave were only an arm’s length away and would be there for me if I needed them. In a very small, and important way, Twitter is a lot like that. Think of it as a social, technical and professional support system for the digital generation. What’s not to “get”?