a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pass me the Twitter pill

The Twitter feed typically trumps Facebook on my iMac on any given day. (Scott Beveridge photo)

By Scott Beveridge

The other day I stumbled on the web upon five warning signs that someone might need intervention for a Facebook addiction and immediately thought of a certain female friend with a website to promote.

While she shall remain nameless here for a variety of reasons, she encouraged me to write this blog fodder about our conversation, thinking the babble was funny.

The warning signs went something like this: spamming your friends with too many posts per hour, posting so much about your personal life that you wouldn’t think twice to share a photo of your bloody finger after accidentally power-stapling it to a craft project, sharing big personal news there before telling the relatives  - in person, Facebooking on your smartphone over drinks or dinner with friends and updating your status while behind the wheel of your car.

My friend in point has suffered them all.

“Check, check,” she responded in a text message before turning the mirror on me by asking if I knew what the warning signs were for Twitter.

She was well aware of my self-confessed love of Twitter, yet was I hesitant about reaffirming that in a list of its addiction warning signs.

Regardless, I Googled the Twitter addiction warning signs, found a list of 29 of them and wondered if those social media users thought they were so damned arrogant and narcissistic they created such a long list to exclude any of them from needing therapy.

I ran through the list, only to be surprised to learn I only met four or five criteria.

Yes, it’s true I hate it when Twitter fails, have become excited over a new followers and did the same when someone retweeted one of my tweets and included a link to my feed in my emails. Yes those things made the list.

However, I don’t have my Twitter ID on business cards, even though that might not be such a bad idea. Twitter won’t show up as the homepage on my browser, and I don’t search my username in realtime or play much with the follow Friday game.

However, I have other Twitter dependencies not on the list that might make a psychologist wonder about my level of dependency on my stream.

I’ve confessed to checking my feed before getting out of bed each morning to make sure WPXI’s Dave Bondy hadn’t tweeted breaking news that I needed to know about.

I’ve also have turned to Twitter for other such breaking news as the Central Pennsylvania flooding from Tropical Storm Lee earlier this month because it was not immediately available on television. During that disaster, a Twitter search took me directly realtime uploads of flood photos and even a video of an historic covered bridge being washed away by high water.

Sorry Facebook. I kind of like you, but that stuff didn’t show up on my news feed that day between my friends' horoscopes and updates on the games they were playing on your site.

I'd take my dose of Twitter any day over the buzz my friend gets from her Facebook.

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