So there was a Twitter blackout yesterday. For those of you who don't know what Twitter is its a social media that allows people to "tweet" 140 character messages that people who "follow" them can read. It is essentially micro-blogging that allows you to update your followers on what you're doing at any given moment in time.
Twitter blacked out yesterday, and the social media world FREAKED OUT!
Ok, I have a Twitter, and a facebook. And I love them (especially facebook as ashamed as I am to admit that) but I did NOT "feel naked" or "disconnected" or "Lost in the world" because Twitter was blacked out and facebook was having so many glitches it wasn't worth using for several hours until they sorted things out. I was fine, I turned facebook off, stopped sending stupid bumper stickers and "creeping" on people and went over to my friend Andrew's house where we listened to a favorite CD of mine (I'd forgotten how much I love punk rock) and went to a bar to hang out. I did NOT freak out, and my world did not come to an end just because facebook and Twitter weren't working well.
Would I be crushed if facebook died permanently...maybe a little. I'm willing to admit that my only communication with people who live outside of Columbus, OH is mostly through the computer. (sometimes even my communication with people in Columbus, OH is mostly electronic). When I want to know how my previous supervisor's new life in California is...I check her facebook. If I'm wondering the due date of a baby from a couple in my graduating class, I check out her ultrasound photos. And when I want to see the adventures of my previous residents who are in Europe right now...I surf their new photo albums and read their updates. So, yes, if these sites were killed permanently I would probably be pretty upset, its like my life's address book. It keeps me in touch with people who I'm not close enough to call, but still want to know that their lives are going well and that they're still doing well. It allows me to congratulate their successes and empathize with their failures even when I'm thousands of miles away and have a million other things that inhibit my ability to call or send them a letter, but I can still write a brief note on their wall to tell them I'm happy for them, or praying for them or whatever they need at that moment.
However. I do NOT believe that facebook and Twitter are necessary parts of my daily functioning in society. If facebook or twitter crashes I can still go to the office, come home, job search, and call my girlfriends for margaritas and have a social life just fine. A computer should not be the ONLY way you communicate with people. It's like people who play online RPGs such as WOW. They're immersed in another world where they only make online friends therefore their entire world is consumed by a screen and avatars and they never leave their apartment. That's not healthy (and trust me I've got a LOT of unhealthy habits).
The internet is NOT the only form of communication in the world...that's why we have cell phones...mine happens to be beautiful, rather expensive, and adorned with an adorable video of my niece with her 1st birthday toys...and rings quite infrequently (*hint*hint*). Writing letters (or emails if you MUST use a computer) is another great way to communicate. You write down your thoughts or feelings or ideas to another person for them to receive, read, and respond in their own time, and it will make them feel special because you took the time to sit down and send this message to them...as an individual, not some mass impersonal message you sent to every friend you have on facebook.
So please, read this blog, check your facebook, write a tweet...and then for goodness sake...make a phone call. Go get coffee with a friend and catch up. Life is too short to worry about twitter and facebook timing out. Really communicate with someone, because that's what all these sources are for...for communication, to connect people...to connect people so that they can form bonds...bonds that hopefully exist OUTSIDE of the net.