How do you communicate?

In one of those confluences, I've been reading about how we use the new communication and networking tools at our disposal. More specifically, I've been reading about people that are unhappy with one or the other.

For example, are you really friends with your Facebook friends? Can you really maintain friendships with many people? Some say no.

Over on Twitter, Neil Gaiman is closing in (if he hasn't already passed) 100,000 followers. Some use Twitterank to see how high they are in the Twittersphere. Many have their tweets feed directly to their FriendFeed or Facebook status.

So clearly, there are divided opinions on all this. The Unclutterer thinks that e-mail is flawed and is proposing to go all-Twitter. In my comments, I said
I think the vast majority of Twitter users are twits - I honestly DO NOT care if you’re going to sleep, if there’s a great movie down the road from you, if you’re waiting on the tarmac to take off! Get a life and stop cluttering mine!

It really is more about how you use the tool, and using the right tool for the right reason. If I want to announce to a bunch of my friends/followers/colleagues that I’m at a specific location during a conference, I’ll use Twitter. If I want a documented conversation with a colleague/vendor, I’ll use e-mail. If I want to talk with a good friend having a difficult time, it’s either face-to-face or phone.
I've started using to TwitterSnooze to slow down what I'm getting from the people that feel an obsessive need to let me know every detail about their lives. After a few Twitter-based conversations with friends (and after watching some conversations between friends), I've decided to limit my responses (updates) to those that will be of interest to more than one person.

Then I read LizOpp and Suburban Hen and Still Life. As you know, I've been pondering what this all means... even more food for thought.

How much is too much? How exposed is too exposed? Which tool is the best for what I want to accomplish? Any? All?


Anonymous said...

I don't have a FB or twitter, though I have a myspace for keeping up with bands I'm interested in. Recently I've been thinking about FB but don't like the stalkerish feel to it and really the people I want to keep in touch with, it's easier to email or call and that's got a more personal touch. Part of me wants to try just to try but I don't think it's really worth it. Unless I use it to follow authors and bands and such. That felt all rambly.

camillofan said...

shree, I use Facebook a lot and am not ashamed to say that it performs no useful (let alone soul-enriching) function in my life at all. Okay, let me amend that slightly: it offers nothing that I wasn't already getting from email or just visiting websites, both of which *do* offer a heartening sense of connection to a bigger world than my little suburban neighborhood. But I'd call FB itself a mildly fun time-waster.

Twitter seems to me to be just the "status updates" feature of Facebook, and when I start tweeting, you'll know the Apocalypse is here.