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Maybe I figured out Twitter

May 27, 2009

Over the past couple of days I’ve watched an old friend (via Facebook updates and Twitter – which I’m fairly sure he’s linked) become Twitter‘s newest raving fan. His short posts literally went from “Why does anyone think they’re important enough to tell everyone what they’re doing?” to “Why do I succumb to this?” to “I. love. it.”

And the comments revealed the Twitter fans, and the Twitter resistors. The Twitter resistors sang the same, tired song about narcissism and ego (from their Facebook profiles – irony?).

I don’t even think I was thinking about it when I had this thought:

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Twitter fans and Twitter resistors alike poke fun at the idea of broadcasting the minute details of our boring, every-day lives to the world. But if that were really all there was, it wouldn’t have survived so long. If Twitter – or any social networking medium that’s been similarly accused in recent memory – was just about a bunch of individuals trying to push their blog or their book or themselves, if it was just about the pointless details of our boring lives, it would have died long ago.

Because (most) people don’t talk to walls, and in an age where our attention spans are being assaulted, we don’t put up with anything that’s very boring for very long.

Conversation is a big factor, obviously. But maybe there’s something else.

Maybe our horribly mundane lives aren’t horribly mundane at all. Maybe we’re just … normal. And maybe normal people dig other normal people. Maybe we’re finally tired of the perpetually dramatized and hyped lives of the people we’ve followed for decades, and we’re down for a little normality. Maybe we were created for community, for relationship, for each other, and if that’s the case then yes, I am interested in how your flight was and yes, I do want to tell you about the funny bumper sticker I just saw.

There are egotists on Twitter, but I think most of us are just normal. And it’s okay. It’s okay to be normal.

Right? Are you on Twitter? Are you normal? Pimp your Twitter in the comments so we can find you.

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