To Tweet, or not to Tweet?

As geeky as I purport to be, up until now, I’ve been mostly able to ignore Twitter. I think about it and I see teens-and-tweens whose cellphones and text messages are as integral a part of their lives and senses of living as… well, as insulin pumps are to many of the T1s in this community. I see twentysomethings texting while driving.

Why do I want to ignore Twitter, you may ask? I sense the expectation of responding to a tweet in seconds, rather than the hours or day that we usually allow for e-mail, and I feel stress. I remember when text-pagers were mostly a luxury item, and friends ran up hundreds of dollars in monthly bills for what turned out to be spam instead of the information they expected. I know how many hours a day I spend sorting through the spam that is NOT filtered through my e-mail programs… and I anticipate that Twitter would increase that by orders of magnitude.

So, why not just continue to ignore Twitter? Use the Twitter web site if there’s anyone or anything specific that I want to look up, don’t sign up, and just continue on as I’ve been?

I wish it were that easy.

At the end of the month, I will be presenting a talk at Trenton Computer Festival. This year, there will be a Twitter correspondent. This correspondent has already reached out to the presenters, looking to add our IDs to his follow list and to increase our Twitter followings. While the correspondent states he is aware that Twitter is not everyone’s thing, seeing how many conferences and conventions are Twittered (tweeted?) by active members of the Diabetes Online Community, I’m almost thinking that it’s expected.

Additionally, I’ve started a new venture. Effective 01 April 2009, I’m doing some stuff for dLife – as one of their Blogabetes bloggers. (You can follow me here). One of my responsibilities is responding to comments on my posts… and while I’m thinking e-mail should be sufficient, I’m not sure that this expansion of my audience – and some of the give and take with other Blogabetes bloggers – does not suggest I should be working with Twitter.

Could it be that I’m putting too much expectation upon myself? (If so, what else is new?) Or am I just burying my head in late-20th-Century sand?

And of course, to top this all off, I am still looking for a full-time job… Given how Twitter-centric the online world seems to have become, am I losing reasonable opportunities by not being on Twitter?

With apologies to Will Shakespeare:

To tweet, or not to tweet
That is the question
Whether 'tis more accountable
To suffer the spam and flooding of SMS inanities
Or by ignoring, avoid them.
To repose, to rest wrists – no more…


I’m excited for all that you have happening, and am really looking forward to your blogabetes posts. You always share such valuable information, and I know many (myself included) really appreciate that.

As far as twitter goes, I have really enjoyed getting involved. I think it allows me to get to know some of the friends from blogging just a little better, and I’ve also met many new diabetes related friends that I didn’t know about before. I think that you can really set your own expectations too. Unlike e-mail, which many times a response is expected, twitter is so spontaneous that I don’t think people have high expectations for responses.

There are ways to “catch” tweets directed at you or that mention you, then you can respond if you want.

I don’t know - I’m certainly no expert. But it has been fun for me to get to know people better.

All the best to you! :slight_smile:

Thanks for your response, Scott! Thinking about it, I’ve (somewhat hesitantly) signed up and will see how things proceed. Just as I’m cautious about “friending” on my social networks, I’ve deliberately kept close the people to whom I’ve sent Twitter invitations (based on what Twitter found on my Webmail accounts).