Ambient Intimacy

One of the things I loved (and greatly missed) about my early days on social networks (starting on Jaiku and then Twitter) was that the folks I followed mainly posted about what they were doing or working on at that moment. A status update. An actual answer to Twitter’s original question, “What are you doing?”.

What was interesting about that was that you could get a real feel for the rhythm of the day for those you followed. An, in this way, there was a sort of ambient intimacy that was built between you and your online friends. You had a sense of their work day and what they did for leisure. If you replied to a post it was generally to find out more details about the project they mentioned or comment on their lunch. Was it sometimes kind of boring? Sure. But, also, interesting. In this way, one really got a fairly good sense of the “real” person on the other side of the ether.

I miss that. I’d like to return to doing that. That was interesting and fun.

As many know, I’ve been hanging out on Twitter less and less these days. I rarely post a tweet and I only check into the timeline, maybe, once a day. I do have the ability to cross post things from my blog/micro.blog to Twitter but, well, I deliberately do not want to give Twitter the corporation anything of mine of that sort of value. So, I don’t.

Otherwise, I’m doing most of my posting, reading, and discussing over on Micro.blog (which I really love). That said, Micro.blog is a platform for blogging, both short (i.e. tweet length) and long posts. It’s not the sort of thing I would post “What are you doing?” type status answers on because, well, I’m posting to my blog and, outside of context and mixed with other things, those would make for very curious blog posts.

Twitter, on the other hand, is still… Well… Twitter. Though the platform, community, and the question it asks you has morphed, the essence of how the platform can be frictionlessly used for status updates remains in place. And, that’s how I plan to use it going forward — at least for a while. A combination of Drafts on my iOS devices and Twizzy on the Mac means I can quickly do so without interacting with the timeline at all.

So, I’ll be experimenting with this for a bit. I’m not sure for how long. My hope is that, by returning to this usage, those who follow me will actually see more tweets from me and, actually, get a clearer picture of what I’m working on, engaging in, and is otherwise holding my attention. In doing so, you’ll actually learn more about the “real” me than simply sharing links, self promotion, etc.

Perhaps, as well, others may find this approach interesting or useful and pick it up themselves.