Is our Twitter addiction something to worry about?

In a way I find our addiction to social media hilarious. This is quite fitting since we are all learning about Twitter right now. Has anyone been about to go to bed and their laptop is 3 feet away and you grab it to update your status on Twitter to “going to bed” or “had a long day I did this, this and this, finally going to bed?” Ok now tell me, how many followers do you actually have (since almost all of us signed up within the week). Isn’t it terrible that probably no one will read that yet we have this urge to edit what it says?

If it is on Twitter, Facebook or Myspace the desire to let people know your next move exists. I found a story on PR Practitioner about how Tweets will soon turn into “a sidebar in the newspaper”. I think the author, Brian Camen, means that events are being followed so closely on Twitter that maybe some users comments on tweets will actually turn into quotes in the NY Times. My login name is “Flynchie” could you imagine if you read a article in the NY Times that said, “I know that Barack will make a true change to the United States” commented Flynchie on Twitter. Rellly?

There is a specific language that people speak on Twitter as well. You give information in a respectful manner, not to mention quickly. Twitter Search allows you to follow specific events, which became very popular during the 2008 election. I feel that in order to be “good” at Twitter I need to really get a hang of the #, @ and all of the other random codes existing.

I almost ask, what is our world coming to and then I wonder, are we just adapting to our technology as quickly as it is advancing? If we have gotten this far with the internet in about 15 years, I can’t even believed where we will be in another 15 yearas. We will just have to see if Brian Camen is right in the end and if Twitter turns into a sidebar in a newspaper.

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9 Responses to Is our Twitter addiction something to worry about?

  1. kristenih says:

    I find this interesting in the fact that I too am one of those people that grab my laptop at the end of the night just to check my myspace.
    I think that in our day-and-age social media sites are becoming more and more addicting because it is a new form of communication. What I mean by this is that the telephone is becoming a thing of the past and these sites are becoming are primary way of communicating with friends, family, co- workers or just cyber space pals. I don’t necessarily find this a thing to worry about (although it is addicting sometimes), rather an adaption to the new age of communication.

  2. mgjersvi says:

    I’m happy to say I am not one of those people…yet. I am still glued to my cell phone. I feel naked without it. I love hearing a friend’s voice and knowing who it is before they can say “Hey Megan. It’s .” Then again, on Facebook I get excited when I see a good friend’s profile picture and that they’ve written on my wall.

    Check out this Web comic from xkcd.
    Clearly, you’re not alone in your addiction.

  3. ledleson says:

    I’m excited to say I have not become addicted to twitter yet. Although I just became a member last week, I don’t have the urge to check in and update my status as much as I do for facebook. I find the possibility of tweets being used for quotes very interesting.

  4. haleypetersonasu says:

    Lindsay, I completely agree with you in that our current technology craze seems to be moving at a pace if not equal than much faster than our adapting at times!

    I believe social media and devices such as Twitter can be equally productive as they can be harmful. If these devices benefit your career, well-being or just plain enhance your social life than I’m all for them! At the same token, when people are so dependent on them and feel that they need to be alerting everyone (friends, family and/or complete strangers) on their every move through status updates/blogging, this can be a very unhealthy and serious issue.

    I very thoroughly enjoy Facebook but find myself using it much more seldomly than I did in my first years of college. I have yet to jump onto the Twitter addiction…who knows, maybe JMC417 will change that?

  5. lehanson says:

    I have to agree with your Twitter remarks. I have only been a part of the Twitter world for a week and I would admit to already being somewhat…addicted. It’s not so much of wanting to update my own status, but to be able to know what some of my friends are up to is intriguing to me. Partially because they aren’t people that I see on a regualar basis. One of them is in Hawaii and well…the other is John Mayer, but who wouldn’t want to know what his daily updates say? And actually I can’t help but wonder, is it really even John Mayer who is updating them?

    One thing that is still hard for me is when people ask “what is Twitter?” It’s hard for me to explain so if anyone has a one-liner let me know. Thanks!

  6. arizonabrian says:

    Thanks for including me in your post. I feel as you graduate and enter the world of PR, you will see (as you are learning) how important social media is to our industry. If companies don’t have a social media plan, they are far behind others.

    While your Tweets about Obama may not wind up in the New York Times, I can assure you that if you enter the PR industry, social media will be a part of your job role and networks such as “Twitter” and “LinkedIn” will go under your skills category in your resume.

  7. mlmyers says:

    I think it would be really funny to see tweets as quotes in the newspaper, but it has already happened in online news writing. Mark Hinojosa, the director of new media at the Detroit News, came into my JMC 425 class as a guest speaker. He explained that during the elections when one of his field reporters didn’t return with quotes from voters, he sent out a few tweets to see who people were voting for, what they were feeling about the election and what it was like at the polls. Within minutes he had replies from people all over the state. He was more effective at getting responses from a wider range of people from his desk then any reporter out in the field could have been. So, I can definitely see tweeting becoming a new method of reporting.

  8. kparma says:

    I agree with the idea that it would be funny to see tweets as quotes in the newspaper. I am one of those people who thinks Twitter is a joke, unless you can find some benefit in your career. Last week I made a tweet about how the company I am interning with is looking for an intern for this coming summer. I had two or three people ask me about the internship. In cases like that, I think that Twitter could be extremely useful. I also like it to send direct messages to my friends. Other than that, I don’t really find Twitter to be all that beneficial. Hopefully Twitter can be developed and tweaked so that it is something we can really use and develop.

  9. plepkows says:

    Thank you all for the comments.

    @ kristenih: It seems this adaptation to new communication channels is something we are doing every day. Do you think that there are certain channels that we should be more focused on adapting to than others?

    @ mgjersvi and ledleson: Why do you think Twitter (or other social media Web sites) hasn’t won you over yet? What do you think we should do, as PR pros, to gain your interest in following our Tweets?

    @ haleypetersonasu: When you say social media may be harmful, are you saying that it may be harmful for users who are following content posted by others, or harmful to the field of PR? In the case of being harmful to users, perhaps it is a benefit to us if they are addicted to these Web sites. It can increase the chances that target publics will hear our opinions.

    @ lehanson: You are welcome. I agree, social media has definitely become something that we cannot ignore if we wish to be successful communicators.

    @ mlmyers and kparma: Those are interesting stories, thank you for sharing. It is incredible just how much digital media has changed journalism and public relations.

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