Saturday, May 16, 2009

Twittering or Frittering?

Here is what is great about Twitter:

With the help of Firefox's Friendbar, a dull browser frame becomes a personalized crawl, a la CNN, but without the MWG (Missing White Girl) and Crisis of the Week news.

Follow comedians for truth; news reporters for laughs (and sometimes information); philosophers for exercise; curmudgeons for introspection; pundits for head-shaking wonderment; screenwriters for commentary; epidemiologists for thrills; computer geeks for fun; media smartypants for prognostication; and chefs for ideas.

What is not so great about Twitter is its potential for epic time suck. When people link to interesting, funny, informative pages, the swirling vortex of the Interwebs can take over and cocktail hour can become 10:30 p.m. in what seems like seconds.

For instance, Twitter led me to the Gallup Poll people's page on marriage, where I learned that what was once derisively called miscegenation has gone from anathema to no-big-deal in my lifetime and that people get divorced at a much higher rate than they accept divorce as a moral choice.

Clicking a Twitter link sent me to a group of women in Canada who hold potlucks to raise money for the education of Afghani women and girls and makes me want to hold such a party.

During the recent Swine Flu drama, I felt up to date even when conflicting information was flying around the mainstream news stations. It gives me confidence that any future epidemiological excitement will come my way in the same quick and efficient manner.

So, even the downside is hardly a tragedy.

Try it, you might like it.

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