Steven Levy on the Burden of Twitter


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sundayx
Guilty. I feel guilty that I have a blog and haven't contributed to it for seven months. Guilty that all my pals on Facebook post cool pictures, while the last shots I uploaded were of Fourth of July fireworks?from 2007. Guilty that I haven't Dugg anything since, well, ever.

It's not that I don't like social networking?I adore it. I love the way it transforms my ragged circle of contacts and acquaintances into something approaching a community. Every site becomes a personalized small town where strangers don't stay that way for long. I'm fascinated by the quirks and preferences my "friends" reveal through comments, status reports, and alerts.

That's where my guilt comes in. Because of time constraints and just plain reticence, I worry that I'm snatching morsels from the information food bank without making any donations. Instead of healthy, reciprocal participation, I'm flirting with parasitic voyeurism.

So, driven by guilt, I try to pitch in. I post Facebook status reports, send iPhone snapshots to Flickr, link my Netflix queue with FriendFeed. But as my participation increases, I invariably suffer another psychic downside of social networking: remorse.

The more I upload the details of my existence, even in the form of random observations and casual location updates, the more I worry about giving away too much. It's one thing to share intimacies person-to-person. But with a community? Creepy.

Continue reading...

I know there are quite a lot of Twitter addicts here, so here's a fun read.

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