Twitter Not Just About Lunch

Norm Geras remains baffled at the Twitter phenomenon.  Responding to a column by Nicholas Lezard, Norm asks:

(1) Why would I want to record my daily activities for other people to follow? (2) Why would I want to follow the detailed doings of anyone else over the course of a day, and another day, and another day?

You, of course, wouldn’t.

But that’s not what Twitter is to most of us.  Despite the query “What are you doing now?” on the posting window, most people that I follow are posting links and commentary on matters of interest to me.    Here’s a screencap of my TweetDeck screen at the moment:

TweetDeck screencap

Now, I’m not saying that every single posting there contributes to my net wisdom.  But I get more than enough interesting information to be worth 30-60 minutes of my day scanning, re-tweeting, and posting my own bits.

Lezard seems to think Twitter is mostly about what people are having for lunch and the like.  And for all I know, perhaps it is.  Then again, so is “blogging.”  But just as I don’t read blogs that are mostly about people’s cats or the mundane daily activities of their lives, neither do I actively follow those sorts of Twitter accounts.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. capital L says:

    I have my own deep skepticism regarding Twitter–namely that I don’t see the great utility of trying to get information by interpreting a series of 140 character messages, one-sided replies, and blind links. The web is quite capable of delivering fully parsed sentences, clear dialogues, descriptive links, not to mention much more besides.