I’m the sort of person who can’t leave my desk for a minute without having to check every email account on my return, just in case I’ve missed something vital. When I go away I worry about how many Yahoo Group posts I’ll have to read on my return, or how many hits my photos will have had on flickr. Sometimes I realise I’ve spent whole hours with three or four windows open on different messageboards, just hitting F5 like a chimp.
So as you might imagine, Twitter scares the life out of me.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about – and if you’ve spent any time on the internet recently, I don’t know how you’ve missed it – Twitter allows you to post little messages to the world, telling everyone what you’re up to, right now. Yup, it’s all there; “I’m watching TV”, “installing Visual Studio”, “in a science class”, “wondering whether to shave my legs”, “checking out Twitter” … well, you get the idea. It’s not quite instant messaging, it’s not quite mini-blogging; it’s snippets of user-created content with no point at all. It’s just more information that we don’t need, floating about saying “read me”. And like most people, I can’t help but read it.
I haven’t actually subscribed, though. I’m not, like, a Twitterholic or anything. To be honest, up until yesterday, I hadn’t even been tempted. But yesterday, I saw Twitter in a whole new light. Someone’s put Twitter onto Google Maps and created a monster. Purdy, ain’t it? And if regular users start taking hold of their own identities, perhaps talking to each other on there (you can already see this happening a little, with some users directing their messages to other specific users, using the @ symbol) – it could become very addictive indeed.