Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

My Jet Set Life and Social Definitions

13 Oct

Well, it’s been an interesting 30 days. In the past month, I’ve flown to NYC and stayed in a (rather crummy) hotel not far from Times Square. Following that, I flew down to Washington, DC (quite by accident on the part of the travel agent), drove across three state lines (Virginia / Maryland, Maryland / Delaware, and Delaware / Pennsylvania) to get to King of Prussia in order to spend a little under a week there. All of this for training, with some fantastic students, and I’m beginning to get used to the idea of spending some time away from home. It definitely makes me miss those people most important to me all the more, but it gives me the chance to experience different regions of the world, even if I start with the continent I call home.

Moving on, I had the (mis)fortune today of being caught off guard by an acronym I saw scrolling past on my Twitter feed. Puzzled, I inquired towards its meaning. A new three-letter acronym had been commandeered to identify an Online Community on Twitter (and beyond), which struck me as odd. I suppose this comes partly from my bias towards the particular subject and the communities that revolve around it, but also from my bias towards communities in general. Communities as a whole don’t need to be organized, structured, or restricted. I find it only makes it more difficult for the members of such a community to feel like they belong, and be more likely to feel entitled compared to people outside of the community.

Belonging, naturally, is a positive. Entitlement, more along the lines of a negative. Being part of a community entitles you to nothing more than access to a group of like-minded individuals at most, and to a group of people aware of a common interest at worst. Adding acronyms to this only adds to the miasma of confusion around social networking to begin with, as opposed to making people aware of your cause and feel inclined to join. Is this because it’s a “friends only” group, or because those who want to join should know what such an acronym means? Growth is focused around ideals and beliefs, not acronyms and definitions. I think that’s part of what does not endear me to such groups. I have enough responsibility in life to begin with, and serving a group with a specific purpose is not an added responsibility that I require.

So where does this put me? Confused, primarily. Somewhat offended, even though I have no justification to feel such. I’ve been invited to hundreds of thousands of communities in my lifetime, and I ignore most of them to begin with just because I don’t understand or relate to their ideals or beliefs. Why would I spend any time on figuring out what an unexplained acronym means to figure out what your ideals or beliefs are? Do I want to have that acronym assigned to me, and need to explain it to others, or would I be better off just sharing your belief from a distance?

These are the thoughts that go through my head. What are yours? If you were invited to a group that refers to themselves as an WOC, would you spend the time looking into what that meant? Is the savings in number of letters worth the alienation of the masses?

~ Aiden

PS. My hypothetical example could be “Women’s Online Community”, or even “Wombat Online Community”. Assume for the example that you don’t know, and it’s not obvious, what the acronym stands for.


Twitter Means – Branching Out!

13 Oct

Now that I’ve amassed a healthy retinue of friends, and friends networks, I feel I can take full advantage of the feature of Twitter I’ve been lacking.

Stalking random people.

I kid (mostly), but what it comes down to is we all have these complex and (slightly) convoluted friend networks that stretch a small distance, either geographically or through connections. Once we put that network out there for others to see, people from the far reaches of our network can intermingle, or possibly reach out to shared networks and build new relationships and networks.

I find this a fascinating practice, and based on my recent additions and inclusions of people that I find somewhat interesting, it’s actually constructive. I’m allowed to take my time analyzing a person, judging them on what they say and believe, and then add them if my opinion of their statements or their presentation fits with the kind of people I want to know. Automatically, I’ve just increased the potential for interaction with this person many times higher than a random social event, even if we have a single thing in common.

Now that I find myself with these new people to converse with, to share notes with, and chuckle about how closely we’re linked even without knowing each other, I wonder where this all is going to take us. Not too many years ago, Facebook was an unknown. The links we had to school friends from a few or dozens of years ago were forever broken, except maybe for some unique websites like that would advertise their unique capability of connecting you with the students from your class that actually cared to get connected. Even more recently than that, Twitter was a nebulous concept in someone’s mind, and the 140 character limit of psychology and belief was something we just couldn’t imagine. Now that we’re here… what’s next?

One of the things I ponder is many of the attempts to unify communication methods. Whether online profiles to contain all your contact info or interaction of several different social networking sites to provide a consolidated record of contact information, I believe that somewhere along the line, we’re going to end up with a personal record of everything us. I know many people use many different systems to do exactly that, myself included. For the moment, at least, most of my contact information is in my head, but one of these days I’m going to finally break off all the old accounts, all the old emails, and reduce myself to a few primary ones, based upon my interests. All of a sudden, my multifaceted personality is subject to a limited number of access points, linked to the social networks that are best suited to them.

Are you ready for what might happen next? Are you prepared to see social networking take another step in the connectivity realm, bringing everyone even closer together? Is privacy something you still cherish and wish to keep a morsel of it to yourself? It’s a digital age, and the clothes we wear have become less important than the guises we adopt on the Internet. Business, personal life, and privacy are all bundled up in a complicated and technologically changing network of people, places, and businesses. It’s a scary world out there, but we’re learning more and more about it in the process.

~ Aiden


Resolutions (of a sort)…

01 May

So you know how we all make those New Year’s resolutions, and then promptly forget all about them within a week? I know for a fact that I never make them to start with, just to save myself the disappointment (and, I like to think, because I’m happy with everything as it is).

I think I owe a few resolutions, one of which is to get this on again / off again blog back on its feet. :) I have an excellent site setup, an excellent identity, and loads to get off my chest that can’t be satisfied by the 140 character limit of my new Twitter addiction…

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