My childhood was pretty simple.

We lived in the country and walked a lot. As kids we played outside, jumped rope, caught frogs, played hop-scotch, make snow angels, had chores to do, and when we went inside, we were welcomed by the scent of a home cooked meal.

For many years we didn’t have a TV, but when got one (it was black and white), we didn’t watch it much. If we wanted to talk to our friends, we called them on a rotary dial phone, which shared a party line (more than one family shared the same phone line). We had to respect that, so we kept our conversations short, and patiently waited until we saw each other to “catch up”. It gave us something to look forward to, and it was always exciting to run up to our friends and say “Guess what?”

Today’s Lesson

Fast forward to today.

Everywhere I go (in blogosphere), I’m reading about Twitter.

I can now follow friends and fellow bloggers on Twitter. I can “tweet” my whereabouts, current blog posts, exciting news, or what I’m making for dinner (or vice versa)

I can join Twitter for free and instant message all of my twittering friends.

It’s a novel idea.

Wikipedia explains it better than I can.

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send “updates” (or “tweets”; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website, via short message service (e.g. on a cell phone), instant messaging, or a third-party application such as Twitterrific or Facebook.

Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. The sender can restrict delivery to those in his or her circle of friends (delivery to everyone is the default). Users can receive updates via the Twitter website, instant messaging, SMS, RSS, email or through an application.

All of that sounds great, but there is a downside:

….some users are starting to feel ‘too’ connected, as they grapple with check-in messages at odd hours, higher cellphone bills and the need to tell acquaintances to stop announcing what they’re having for dinner.”

I’ve asked myself, “Do I want to be THAT connected?”

As much as I love the advances in technology, I don’t want a cell phone (Bluetooth) attached to my ear and/or a laptop and PDA in my possession 24/7.

As I travel into the future I prefer my load be light. I’d like to keep my computer on my desk, my cell phone used for my convenience (it’s usually turned off), and my favorite pen and notepad my preferred way to make notes.

I was born into a simple life, and from that, I learned “less is more”.

Today’s Assignment

To all of my Twittering friends, am I missing something?

Is Twitter a necessity?

Or are you like me, and refraining from joining yet another social network?

Photo Credit: aussiegall’s photostream

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Look Who's Talking
  1. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    When my friends first told me about Twitter, I originally ruled it out as a time sync. I didn’t imagine a useful scenario for me, except maybe road trips.

    I haven’t joined yet, but I’m hearing it’s a good way to connect with lots of interesting folks in the blogosphere and that a lot more happens behind the scenes that what we see show up in blogs.

    J.D. Meiers last blog post..Action Commitments

  2. Barbara,

    I signed up for twitter not really knowing anyone else that was on there (no one in my email list is signed up). I initially thought i’d use it to connect with other freelance writers, but now I mainly use to to chat with others about their blog posts and my blog posts – and just to update on my day.

    It is nice to read the everyday struggles and joys of other writers and bloggers, and encouraging too.

    It’s not a big time commitment, and you only need to log on when you feel like it, so I really enjoy it.

    Hope that helps!


    David | beplayfuls last blog post..Playing in the Blogosphere

  3. Barbara, this is so funny, well not really, but I plan to revised my Meet the Blogger page, just a little, and one of the lines I wrote is: you will not twitter with me throughout my day knowing about every little thing i do.

    To all of my Twittering friends, am I missing something? To this question I feel like saying ____________ no!!!

    Is Twitter a necessity? Again, see above response.

    Or are you like me, and refraining from joining yet another social network? I don’t think I can join another. A month ago, I joined one and I didn’t even know it was….I signed up for another reason and realized it was something else. I don’t feel pressure to be there…its an okay place, but I don’t have time to keep up with it.

  4. I’m with you, Barbara. I already have a lot on my plate and to have an endless feed of people telling me what they had for breakfast and how they just can’t think today isn’t for me.

    I hear there are a few ways to leverage Twitter to market your business, but the way I see it, unless you’re already a big name (which means many people will flock to you and become your friend), you’ll have to invest a great deal of time (and wasted time) to really become “popular.”

    If you don’t have many friends, especially ones with influence over others, it seems like it would take a huge chunk of time to even begin leveraging Twitter for marketing.

    But then again, I don’t have much experience with it myself, so I suppose I could be wrong. But this is a typical model in most marketing avenues where you aren’t really known. It takes time and effort.

    Due to the fact you may have to invest quite a bit of time in Twittering in order to see any marketing benefits, it’s best if you enjoy casual conversations throughout your day with a lot of people, otherwise you’ll probably get frustrated.

    On a side note, thanks for allowing me the opportunity to place a banner to our company eVentureBiz on your website. 🙂

    John Hoff – eVentureBizs last blog post..Tell Me About You

  5. axecityNo Gravatar says:

    I prefer simplicity in everything. I pay attention towards enjoying nature, not to be much overwhelmed by technology all the time. There should be sometime to set your mind free of everything to be capable of going on through our crowded life.

    axecitys last blog post..Avoid your blog posts going unread!

  6. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    I think this connection that people feel they have with these kinds of networking sites is terrible artificial. The only connection they really have is with the technology. And even that is more like an addiction. I think that there is a time and place for everything.

    I only go online at school for the time being. I don’t own a cell phone, and I don’t feel the need to participate in a social networking site. I agree that we should go back to the simpler times. It’s okay to use these services and technologies, just don’t get overloaded with them. Everything in moderation.

    Chase Marchs last blog post..One Story

  7. Well, at the end of the day, it’s all up to you.. Some of us really need a higher degree of connectivity and that may not work at all with some of us.. But Twitter has some good uses except for just “staying connected”.. You can find loads of people willing to help you with all the tech stuff you need.. So, at the end of the day, I don’t think it hurts putting sometime to build a Twitter presence..

    Nadeesha Cabrals last blog post..The wonders of honest blog reviews

  8. I don’t get many “what’s for dinner” tweets, but the tweets I really hate are “good morning” and “goodnight.” I don’t need to know when all the twits are online.

    One good thing has come out of twitter for me though. When someone tweets about a blog post (their own or someone else’s), I sometimes click through and read a post I wouldn’t have read otherwise. So I figure that sometimes people will read a post of mine because of my tweets.

    I don’t really see the point of twitter, but it’s OK as long as you don’t spend much time on it. I wouldn’t be caught dead on Facebook or MySpace.

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..The Tea-Loving Caterpillars

  9. I wouldn’t be caught dead on Facebook or MySpace.

    I second that Hunter!

    John Hoff – eVentureBizs last blog post..Tell Me About You

  10. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi J.D.

    I would imagine a lot does happen behind the scenes in blogosphere. That would be an interesting series of blog posts for a Twittering blogger.

    Hi David,

    It sounds like you’ve found a good balance with Twitter. Just like other social networks, we’re not committed to participate.

    Hi Natural,

    Like you, I joined another network too-Blog Catalog. It appears to be a great “place”, made some friends, but now am so busy with life, I don’t have time to participate.

    Grab an “A” for answering all of the questions. 🙂

    Hi John,

    I do see how “big names” can leverage Twitter. It’s gained popularity fast and is even being used on the campaign trail. Many swear by it, but does take a chunk of time out of your day.

    BTW: I love your banner. I hope it brings lots of visitors/clients to your web hosting site.

    Hi Axecity,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    Simplicity is great. It gives us time to enjoy that and those that surrounds us, and often results in unexpected creativity.

    Hi Chase,

    You hit the nail on the head. Moderation is the key. Too often we can become addicted to “the latest thing”, and that which is truly important ends up by the wayside.

    When I first started participating in StumbleUpon, I found myself spending over an hour at a time reading posts and looking at beautiful photographs. Although what I found was good, I had to restrict myself as I wasn’t using my time wisely.

    Hi Nadeesha,

    Great to see you here.

    Thank you for sharing “the other side”. I love hearing from someone who uses Twitter and is benefiting from it. I do know many love to be connected, and even find enjoyment in that. It sounds like you’re making some great friends and gaining knowledge by you Twitter presence.

    Hi Hunter,

    Is that what they call Twitterers? Twits?

    For you it sounds like it’s helping to drive some new traffic to your blog (plus you’re finding new ones too). That’s a good benefit.

    BTW: What is for dinner? 😆

  11. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    I signed up for twitter a couple of weeks ago but I just can’t get into it…It’s just too much for me. They said that it’s good for marketing your blog. They might be right, but this would also mean that my tweeting will take away from developing good content.

    I think I am going to stay away.

  12. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve heard the same thing (good for marketing a blog), but like any social network, it takes time. We have to ask ourselves, “where is our time best spent?”

  13. Barbara –

    You’ve hit nail on the head with my favorite mantra –
    “More is in Less.”

    Twitter is another tool to add clutter in our life. It may be a great tool to market our blog but if it takes over our life than it ‘s not worth anything in my opinion. For now, I’m staying away. I’d rather focus on my content and keep working one day at a time to build my blog.


  14. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I tried twitter a couple of times but I didn’t really get the hang of it, or the point. Now I know some people love it – I’m probably missing something.

    Alot of people on my Twitter list are from different time zones, so I suppose that doesn’t help either.

    Cath Lawsons last blog post..Is StumbleUpon Going Down The Tubes?

  15. NezNo Gravatar says:

    I signed up maybe a couple of months ago, but really haven’t had the time to make use of it.

    Nezs last blog post..What the World Needs More of

  16. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Shilpan,

    I know you write a lot about simplicity. Clutter, of any kind, can add stress to our lives, whether it’s material possessions or joining another social network. Like you, I’m not ready to add any more to my plate.

    Hi Catherine,

    I never thought about the time zone issue, but that’s something to consider. I believe you and I are 8 hours apart.

    BTW: I’m guessing my email got buried in your inbox. I’ll send you another one.

    Hi Nez,

    I know you keep busy with your business and family, so Twitter is probably on the back burner for you. If you do figure it out, keep me posted.

  17. Pat RNo Gravatar says:

    I like the technology that’s available to us but only use what I have need for. You can get caught up in so much that it boggs you down checking on this and answering that.

    I love to connect and realize techonology has given us the ability to do this from all over the world. I still love to get letters and cards in the mail and hear someone voice on the phone. That physical contact is important to me and technology is lacking somewhat in that.

    Note on the good old days: I have a PowerPoint presentation from a Denver radio talk show host Mike Rosen when he talked about Life in the ’60s with background music taken from “In the Still of the Night”. I can’t publish it because I don’t have copyright permission but you can e-mail me and I can point you to his 1-hour talk show if anyone is interested. It’s a touching presentation (my e-mail is pcruppel47@msn.com – just say ’60’s presentation).

    Pat Rs last blog post..A Little Slice of Heaven

  18. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    I signed up for Twitter a couple weeks ago, and the jury is still out .. Hang on, gotta go refresh to see if anyones said anything important … I link some of my posts but I haven’t really noticed any more traffic yet. I enjoy the social side of it and I even got a couple dinner ideas. It all depends on who you are following. Also, if you don’t follow others on someone else’s list you may only get part of the conversation. I’ve … oops, time to refresh, again … got some people following me that I don’t follow. They are local businesses like a real estate guy. I could block them out, but it doesn’t matter to me. At first I followed everyone that followed me, but now I check them out to see what they write before I mess with them. … refresh … I don’t think it’s interfereing with my blogging.

    Ok, so I guess maybe I have been a little schizophrenic about it, but I’m going to keep tweeting for the time being. I don’t do chat rooms so this is the closest I’ve come to it. Most of the people I follow are people whose blogs I already follow. I don’t use it on my phone, though because I do not have unlimited texting and it would cost me too much.

    Debbie Yosts last blog post..My Crazy Weekend

  19. I just mentioned twitter on another comment here, but I may as well repeat myself in saying I also have signed up, but am having trouble getting into it. I do think there is a definite behind the scenes chatfest happening there that may be interesting for bloggers, but I wouldn’t say I’ve found it a compelling use of my time yet. Though Cath is right that time zones probably play a part in that.

    I’m giving it a go for a bit longer though to see if it attracts me any readers or adds something to my often closeted writerly life. If I find this leads to any amazing life/blog changes I’ll be sure to let you know.


    Kelly@SHE-POWERs last blog post..Runny Eggs, Feminism and the Drunken Bride

  20. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Pat,

    Like you, I love getting cards and letters in the mail, and I also enjoy writing and sending them. It’s great to get something in the mail box that isn’t junk mail or bills.

    Your PowerPoint presentation sounds great. I’ll be emailing you for the link.

    Hi Debbie,

    I remember you writing how you had joined Twitter. I’m glad you came by to share your experience. Keep me posted on your progress.

    Hi Kelly,

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your initial thoughts on Twitter. From what other new Twitterers are saying, it seems to take awhile to “get into it”.

    Come back and share your findings. I’m curious to know if it’s a “must have”.

  21. I tried Barbara. I am trying but I get that too connected feeling.. Its this grand gesture of connection but.. *sigh* alas.. I am not sold

    I did sign up but.. several times not it was like “eh”… lol

  22. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi JEMi,

    Like you, I prefer not to be that connected. At least not at this point in my life. Time could change that though.

  23. “Is that what they call Twitterers? Twits?”

    Well, that’s what I call them. 🙂

    “BTW: What is for dinner? :lol:”

    This is actually a question that I’ve never answered on Twitter. It just doesn’t seem interesting enough!

    Hunter Nuttalls last blog post..Desegregating Our Minds

  24. David LanoNo Gravatar says:


    Your post reminds me of a blog I thoroughly enjoy reading. Its called “Put Things Off” – http://putthingsoff.com/

    Nick Cernis over at Put Things Off is constantly challenging technology and its impact on our daily lives. If you have a spare minute or two I would recommend taking a look at a few of his latest posts.

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Hunter,

    Thanks for coming back and not sharing what’s for dinner 😆

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the link to Nick’s site. I just checked it out. I like his post about “switching back to paper”. I’m going to include his blog in my feed so I can read more. Great find!