Jon Stewart had a segment on twittering last night that was rolling on the floor funny. At least, it was funny to me. But it also provoked some thought into our love affair with Twitter going mainstream. If you didn’t catch it, go ahead. I’ll wait. In fact, I’ll see you after the fold.
Now, I’m a social media cheerleader, but I’m not so bouncy goodness that a little cynicism creeps in and I can see the arguments they are making here. I too am guilty of tweeting things about my life that not everyone is interested in, and we have repeatedly discussed in groups the argument of whether the backchannel (in this case, Twitter) is an asset or a detriment to learning. And when does an application jump the shark? I will admit to tech curve snobbery… the odd sensation I get when everybody has jumped on the bandwagon and I can’t breathe:
Daily Show, Colbert Report speak of Twitter? ——–> funny, hip
GMA, Today Show, Congress speaks of Twitter? ——–> jumps the shark
I don’t mean to be a Twitter snob; I just can’t help it. The phenomenon does seem to cover the wide range of all social media. How many people do you know start to hyperventilate upon discovering their mother/father/grandmother/uncle is on Facebook? Ummm, hello? Social media? It *does* tend to engage people from all walks of life–even your family tree. Studies are showing that I might just be part of the proverbial lemming cycle; if too many people gain access, the space is no longer “yours” and you leave it for the next cool space that people have yet to find. Indeed, there is talk that social media fatigue is starting to surface,
especially in the 20 somethings, oddly enough. It might explain that,
while I am all about social media and being plugged into the community,
I have opted to be offline more on the weekends.
And, one final plug here, before I go off into the ether. If you think this kind of stuff makes for great conversation and discourse, you should know danah boyd is going to be a featured speaker at this year’s TLT Symposium (#tltsym09 for you hashtagging fools out there) and she is a must hear. Her insight on teens finding their voices in online environments is insightful and illuminating.
In the meantime, I am struggling with the question Jon Stewart poses: have we confused “new” with “good”?