[2013-08-27] Why am I not on Twitter?
Every once in a while, I find myself faced with "the Twitter question" -- most recently it happened here. Recently, my answer has been along the lines of describing the effect: "I had a Twitter, and I never used it after an initial period when it was all new and shiny".
Digression: I could also have said "I have a Twitter, but I don't use it" -- except that relatively recently the account apparently got hacked into. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it were the result of simple brute forcing (even though brute forcing is for dummies) -- I had an exceptionally simple password that was susceptible to a dictionary attack (if you had the right dictionary, at least). Honestly, I can't bring myself to care about it -- I filled out Twitter's "My account has been hacked" form and have yet to see any result from this. But I digress.
In point of fact, I got a Twitter account about the same time it started becoming popular (no, not a hipster -- I wasn't using it before it was popular) and used it for a good couple of months when I was able to update it by XMPP 'bot. Later, though, the XMPP interface went away, and I stopped using it. I could point to that as the cause of my not using Twitter ("it's not as convenient as just sending IMs to a contact"), and for a while I did assume that was the problem... until I got an identi.ca account (now sadly defunct) and stopped using it when the XMPP interface was still working there.
What really seems to be the case is that I'm not the type of person who broadcasts, most of the time. I'm open (as you can tell from my about page) and I'm an occasional broadcaster (as you can tell from, well, this very site), but I don't want to be broadcasting constantly. In fact, I quite happily go for many months between thoughts that I feel are worth sharing with the world, and when I do, I find that the long form (articles like this one) is much more suitable, as it allows me to ramble semi-coherently for as much as I like. Twitter literally isn't useful to me.
To return to the first paragraph, though, I called out this blog post as the trigger for this article, and one of the things it mentions as "reasons to use Twitter" is networking, which I'm mostly equating with "social networking" as the phrase is currently understood (communicating with people you don't know who might share some interests). At that, I consider Twitter to be no better at producing such communication than Facebook is.
So, why am I not on Facebook? That's going to have to be the subject of another article, I'm afraid. As far as it goes, I'm still at the phase where I can say "I have a Facebook, but I never use it". I'm guessing that means there's another grain of insight stuck waiting to surface there, as well, but by analogy, it's pretty obvious that "networking" is not a thing that holds value to me, any more than "quick and painless broadcasting" is.
This website? It's quick and painless enough for me.