Thursday, 2 February 2012

Twitter - How much is too much?

I have been a member of the Twitter world since the 23rd of April 2010. I was introduced to Twitter by Phil Bradley on a course about Web 2.0. At first it took me a while to get to grips with it and I just dipped in and out occassionally. Eventually I found time one afternoon and I started to play around with it. I found a few people to 'follow', who then kindly 'followed' me. All very nice and civilised. I chose to take Phil's advice about only following people who were going to give me the best information. It took a while to identify who they were, but it was a fun process and eventually I was following about 30 people from various areas of my field. I'd found some interesting people and the information I was getting was fantastic. I was chasing up leads on news stories, discovering new resources and getting involved in the campaigns to Save Libraries.

But that's where it all started to go a bit wrong. I found myself checking twitter when I woke up in the morning. I'd get to work and check Twitter. I'd check it during my tea break, at lunch time, during my afternoon break, on the bus going home, after dinner, at the gym, while looking after my nephews, as I talked to my friends. I started to get anxious if I hadn't checked it. What was I missing? Perhaps someone had tweeted something important but it would get bogged down in my Timeline and disappear forever without me seeing it. It was ok with most people I followed who only tweeted a few times a day but some of the people I was following were tweeting information every half hour on the hour every day. And not rubbish either. I was beginning to lose my grip on reality. Finally I just couldn't take it anymore and I decided that I just had to abandon Twitter. This abrupt disconnection from the information world was very disconcerting but I had no choice. Twitter was turning me into a nervous wreck!

This all got me thinking (something I now had time for!) and I began to wonder, just how much is too much Twitter? As I mentioned before some of the people I follow tweet a CRAZY amount of stuff and from what I can tell it's all pretty good. What I couldn't figure out was where they found the time to get all this info and then tweet about it and how did they expect their followers to keep up with so many updates. Also, when tweeting, how much do they really think about the people who are following them?

At this point in time I've still not been able to fully allow Twitter back into my life. Maybe some day I will again find the time to look at it and reassess my information priorities.

Funny Stories from the Library 1

We have a lovely student who has taken out at least one book every day since the start of the school year in September. Sometimes she’ll take a book out during morning break (10.45am) and bring it back at lunch (1pm) having finished it. For Christmas her parents bought her a Kindle. When the staff in our library saw her carrying it we thought - well that’s it. She won’t be taking any books out now.

One day she came up to the desk to check out a book and I said to her, “I was worried when I saw you with your Kindle that you wouldn’t be taking out books anymore.” She replied, “Oh no. I love books! I’m not even very fond of my Kindle it’s just that it’s so much easier to read from when you’re knitting! I can’t hold a book and knit at the same time. The Kindle stays nice and flat on my lap.” I tried desperately not to giggle and agreed that yes a Kindle would be far easier to read from when trying to knit. Never have I come across such a sweet and strange 16 year old girl.

(Incidentally the item she was knitting turned out to be a waistcoat in various shades of green!)