Over-stimulation. Not the good kind.

Alright. Like a lot of my friends my age (cough), I grew up watching “personal computing” evolve from Wolfenstein on Apple II’s to the internet to our current free-form genetic freakshow known as social networking. MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendfeed, Twitter, etc. etc. And yea, I’m one of those who think sitting down at a bar or coffee shop and engaging in conversation, however inane, is far superior to hording a list of names online and being Tom’s friend.

But, I have to admit, I joined Facebook and it has made keeping in touch with old friends whom I’ve lost touch with, or would loose touch with otherwise, a lot easier. There are some upsides to social networking.

I’m also a closet geek, although I’ve not built a computer in several years now and only browse the upper tufts of the greener pastures that I happen to wander onto. Mainly old personae from the now absorbed and digested Tech TV clan. I’m also into news and music aggregators (oh, another techie euphemism!), especially to get a full range of political and musical genre. Keeping up with these by visiting website, reading blogs, DLing pod/vodcasts, etc. turns into a couple hours plus some nights. So rather than try to ingest all this stuff on a regular basis, I figured I’d follow them on Twitter, and shortly afterward using Friendfeed.  Twitter is the aberrant love-child of social networking and some sort of frenzied, hyperactive Chernobylitic beast.  Twitter is hypernetworking, micro-blogging.  Other micro-blogging/posting services are Jaiku, Pownce (bought & undergoing a transformation), Tumblr… they all share in common a streamlined format suitable for short, rapid-fire posting.

IMO they’re hedging their bets on being able to be used on broadband cell networks so people can update, post, etc. from their cell phones.  More micropurchasing to come kiddies!  In the mean time, these services cost nothing, have no advertisement revenue, and in some cases don’t even have a business plan.  Yet they have extremely high valuation based on the free-to-use, no advertising, not-having-a-business plan thing.  In the case of Twitter, they’re valued at $250M!  They do not have a business plan.

How these sites generate so much investment backing is another story, for another blog, to be aggregated and tweeted about at another time… back to the subject at hand!

Now, Ive got plenty of friends on Facebook but my “RL” friends don’t really extend beyond the typical social networking site… if they’ve even gotten that far. Twitter and Friendfeed are definitely for people who either work in the tech industry, or are plugged into a computer all day long and have easy access to this stuff (note that last part, as many companies block social network sites and programs).

So everything was Cool and The Gang for the first week or so. Granted, I couldn’t really attend to the wave of information any better than before, since I still had limited time to actually consume what is now still the same medium of data.  Only now it’s more of a shotgun blast of unfiltered TMI rather than sniped stuff I wanted to pick off.  Really, people think that other people want to know exactly what they’re doing or thinking at any given moment…?  Really?

I guess I’m not a Twitter person.  In fact now I’ve grown to actually despise the so-called “hyper-social” tools. First off – tweets. You tweet, they tweet, we twitter.  Can someone just take the Baseball Bat of Manliness, repeatedly clobber me upside the head, until all this fairy dust is washed from my brain in oozing streams of crimson gore? Secondly, and this is the most important part – a crazy amount of tweets are inane, utterly ridiculous, “OMG I just wiped my ass and my finger broke through the toilet paper!” posts with nothing as remotely interesting as the aforementioned brownfinger.

That’s not to say that all twittering is equal or utterly useless.  A lot of the news & music aggregators, as well as the less self-absorbed professionals out there do post actual useful and informative tweets, even if it’s bit-sized links to something.  But there is enough non-essential, self-absorbed twittering going on to definitely make this hyper-networking the digital equivalent of someone whispering “Who farted?” to make everybody laugh for a brief, uncomfortable moment in the cubicle farm because someone wanted to break the silence of actual productive work.  It’ll probably shake out like the video sites where 99% of content is just time-wasting, brain-numbing, cud for the chewing.

Seriously, here are some very recent, choice tweets from high-profile techsters and pundits who I’m following, hoping to get some breaking news or at least something vaguely interesting:

back in the office (after 2 day move to new apt in SF) tons to do.. email count: 720

About to dye my hair blonde. Pkg “does not rec for med brown hair or darker”. Is my hair med brown? This will either be fun or end in tears.

Blonde ambition update: No tears! It’s lighter but no crazy change. Def strawberry blondish, not flaxen. Took forever! I like it I think.

i rarely eat breakfast and probably should more often. i did today. why is it that im more hungry for lunch when i do than when i don’t?

getting ready to redeye back to nyc — still kind of amazed by duke energy intrvu. *why* can’t the lights stay on in a storm exactly?

And now everybody is twittering, blogging, snarging, blerging, and smurqing (those last couple will be invented soon, sold for millions, and dumped after the personal data is mined, I’m sure). Better yet… this is the kind of stuff that Congresspeople and Senators were doing during the Presidential address the other night!  What the hell?  It’s bad enough when someone in a trend position thinks they’re popular enough to tweet about their toast being too dry, but supposed political leadership… during a f@#%ing Presidential speech?  Even technophobe John McCain somehow manages to twitter quite often.

It’s TMI.

p.s. – That gives me an idea… TMIr, the new nano-blogging cloudspace app for your phone!  Who wants a piece of this startup?  We’ll make p’zillions!

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One Response to “Over-stimulation. Not the good kind.”

  1. I agree, the one thing I could never understand about people is there sick need to look into someone else life and know every little mundane detail. I actually blame reality TV and all the shitty celebrity snoops out there letting me know brad pitt only eats flax and takes a dump at 3am every morning. Look i’m sorry to say this but I find myself more important to me than brad pitt. I HATE IT !

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