Thursday, July 02, 2009

Twitter vs. Blogging

A few days ago, I jumped aboard the latest Internet bandwagon and got a Twitter page. I really had low expectations of the experience -- after all, what can you write in 140 characters that's worth reading?
But I'm finding some advantages -- the biggest being that because I have to keep it short, I can make more comments on a wider variety of topics. On my blogs, I usually feel like I have to write a relatively well-thought out essay -- which means, in practice, that many ideas, or even draft posts, never are actually posted. The blog just sits there, as the most recent post gets older and older. Most visitors who arrive usually do so from a search or link, not because they are regular followers of the blog. Sometimes, I don't have time or thought to spare for writing. It's easier to find five minutes several times a day, than an hour once a day, or even once a week.

This gives me the space to comment on a wider variety of topics -- Baha'i stuff, Asperger's Syndrome, yoga, teaching, whatever I'm reading, or whatever topic in the news takes my fancy. When you don't have to write well, it's easier to to write broadly. It always bothered me, back when I was entangled in forum debates, that people tended to put me in a kind of box, based upon whatever impression my posts on Baha'i issues gave them. If I was angry, they saw me as an irredeemably angry person. If I was inspired, they saw me as spiritual. If I was concerned they saw me as compassionate. No doubt, if I stumbled, they dismissed me as a fool. The truth is that I'm all of those things -- sometimes. Human beings are complicated, and always in flux. Twitter captures that, I think, whereas other forms of online communication remain frozen in time.

There are disadvantages, though. Because Twitter is short and fast, it also tends to be more trivial. Do people really want to know the small details of my day? Probably not -- but I put them down anyway. Twitter begs to be constantly updated. When I read it, I tend to gravitate towards links, which lead me into a more in-depth discussion of a topic, but more personal tweets will sometimes make me smile.

I tried to get my Twitter updates put here on Karen's Thoughts, but Blogger put it on Unenrolled Baha'i -- my guess is because it has a more up-to-date layout.

No comments: