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To Tweet or not to Tweet

Posted April 17, 2009

Susan Acker
Editor in Chief

Do you Tweet? Not make the sound, do you send messages to a Web site so that people know what you are doing, where with whom, why and for how long?

Twitter is a site where people can stay connected by answering the question, what are you doing? When you use Twitter, you Tweet.

Tweeting has been on my mind since I first read a story about celebrities who Tweet to inform their fans of their every move.

It was then brought to my attention again a couple of weekends ago at a Society of Professional Journalists regional conference I attended.

I was seated at the conference luncheon with several other people from the Southern California area.

“How nice,” I thought as I placed my jacket on the back of my chair and slid my purse under the table. I was going to sit with people I could relate to.

Everyone was friendly and when I sat down, we greeted one another and made the usual small talk.”Hello, I am Susan from the University of La Verne,” I said.

We all sat and waited for the cue and then we headed over to the buffet line. We all got our food and made our way back to the table.

Instead of sitting down and enjoying our meal, there was a 10-minute discussion about Twitter. And one of the women refused to start eating her lunch until she figured out how to Tweet from her cell phone.

I contemplated this action while I chewed my food. What is it about tweeting that has people so addicted to it that they refuse to eat until they have sent an update of their latest movement?

The Twitter talk did not stop there. That weekend I was told by several people that Tweeting was not only cool, but essential.

Why? I asked. “Because it shows that you have good Internet skills. And it helps you stay connected.”

That sounded good. I am graduating soon and I want to have all of the skills I need to make it in the workforce and to succeed.

I have spent the last few days contemplating Twitter some more. I just read “Should Twitter Remove Its Follower Count?” by MG Siegler for “TechCrunch.”

Siegler wrote that Ashton Kutcher is trying to beat CNN and get one million followers first. He also wrote that Tweeters are concerned about their popularity. It is high school all over again.

Tweeting may be fun and it may be beneficial in some respects, but I value my privacy and my time too much to tweet my every move.

For a brief second I thought about joining Twitter to find out what the fuss is all about and I found something interesting. On the Twitter site, “How does it work?” page, it states that “Twitter puts you in control and becomes a modern antidote to information overload.” How?

Isn’t Twitter all about giving everyone more information about everything?

It seems to me that Twitter is just one more thing to worry about and maintain and waste my time on.

But what do I know? I do blog, which I was completely opposed to before I learned more about it and spent some time blogging.

Perhaps Twitter is something that just takes some getting used to. After all, it did take me a few years to jump on the blogging bandwagon.

I think I will stick to sending e-mails, using the phone and writing letters.

If I ever do Tweet, I will not be a Tweeter who refuses to eat before she Tweets, or who worries about how popular she is with other Tweeters.

Susan Acker, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at susan.acker@laverne.edu.