So, as you may have noticed, curiosity got the better of me and I signed up to Twitter to see what it is all about. It’s a bit of an experiment at the moment as I don’t quite see the point of it really… I keep in touch with my friends and family by phone, sms or actual speaking! I also have a facebook page under a different name which I use to message and play with family and friends.* So I’m not sure what I will actually use twitter for although it might be interesting to follow the tweets of musicians and other people I am interested in. It also looks as if it will be quite good for getting news headlines from various sources. Anyhow, for now I have put a link to my tweets here in my blog… I will see how that goes.
The whole thing has got me thinking about how we are adapting as a species to the new technology around us. I am 30 and averagely computer literate for my age. I am interested in what you can do with a pc or laptop but not so much in the nuts and bolts of how things work. I see blogs and message boards as a fun way to practice my writing skills and make a few new friends. However, a lot of my younger friends have been brought up on computers and the internet much more than I have and for them it is a whole other thing. I suppose I am growing more in their direction as time goes by. It seems to me that these days nearly all people have an internet presence which is like an extension of their personality. It means for one thing that privacy has a whole different meaning to what it dis when I was growing up.
When I was in my teens I did keep a diary, but I kept it very secret. These days people of all ages seem to be prepared to share their most intimate thoughts with anyone who happens to be looking in and share photos and opinions with people who (in a physical sense) are strangers. But there is the rub; we now have not only a physical presence but a virtual one too, one we can design and manipulate far more than we could ever do with just a physical body. I am not being judgmental about any of this. I am being swept along with it as much as anyone else. The very things I am writing now I am sharing with anyone who is looking in. I have written some quite intimate things about myself here and on various message boards and frankly I am less and less inhibited about describing personal things on the net. And yet, if I did still have a paper diary I would be mortified at the thought of anyone else reading it!
(*I had to re-think that sentence about having a facebook page under a different name to keep in touch with family and friends. What I meant was friends that I have actually met in the flesh; people I see and physically meet with from time to time. Yet in reality there are people on the net who I have never actually met who are just as much friends and who I probably talk with more often than I do with my physical friends… Yet, for the time being I still see net friends in a different category. I wonder how long that distinction will continue..?)
I wonder if psychologists with have to retrain to understand people’s net presence in the same way they have to understand other aspects of their personality?
Meanwhile I will dive head first into twittering, blogging and whatever else comes along and see how my own net presence develops. Watch these tweets!