I was going through my normal routine this morning of IV’ing my daily allotment of caffeine into my system, reading my email, going through my blog feeds in FeedDemon and then finishing up with a good round of FriendFeed when I realized something. My Twitter client wasn’t running, and in fact, it hadn’t been running for almost three days.
You know what?
I hadn’t missed not seeing all those tweets go by one little bit, which made me wonder if this whole thing about being available all the time wasn’t as important as it is cracked up to be. After all, I successfully get all my important stuff dealt with through either email or IM. As a matter of fact someone who wanted to talk to me about something specific got a hold of me with no problem via both Skype and MSN Messenger because that information is right there on my WinExtra blog’s About page. It wasn’t until this morning when I was checking my email that I even knew that he had followed me on Twitter.
Sure I use FriendFeed and some will say that is the same thing, only a little different. Well if it is the same or even the same but a little different, why do I need to worry about Twitter anymore? The funny thing is that I probably wouldn’t have been interested in Twitter as much as I have been if it wasn’t for the fact that I wrote a desktop client for it at one time. I might have gotten caught up in it the same way that I have with FriendFeed but there is the rub – why do I need both anymore?
As it is, I have enough communication tools running at any one time on my system that if someone really needs to get a hold of me they can. Whether it be by email, IRC, IM or even FriendFeed, I am reachable. Do we really need to have this feeling that we must be in constant contact with people? What is this pressure for constant contact really bringing to the table for us? I always joke in the WinExtra IRC chatroom that “Just because it’s called a chatroom doesn’t mean you have to chat” and I have seen the better part of the day go by before anyone says anything other than “pass the coffee.”
Communication is a great thing but over-communication I think can also be a detriment. We seem to want to spend so much time talking about literally nothing in order it seems to justify our use of these tools. Communication tools are meant to enhance our lives and our work but it seems that they have become more of a means to lose ourselves in the mundane instead.
Do you really need this hyper-connectivity or could you live without Twitter as well?