Twitter is great, but…

…I’ve learned that I’ve got to treat it with caution.

My first impressions of Twitter were that it simply consisted of sub-trivial nonsense, but I stuck with it and realised that it’s a lot of fun and can also be very useful if you follow the right Twits.  People who regularly post links to interesting news and articles are invaluable at times and it’s so much more immediate than following blogs, even though many of the links will take me to a blog of some sort or another.  I’ve probably visited a much larger variety of links since joining Twitter than I ever did before.

I also like the fact that there are so many users of a more mature persuasion – both in an age sense and an intelligence/humanitarian sense (if that doesn’t sound too pretentious).  Sometimes, when something new hits the internet, it feels like the young take it over, but Twitter feels all-encompassing and even feels slanted towards an older average.

My problem with Twitter is that it can be too distracting if left on all the time.  This is obviously why Stephen Fry felt the need to go on hiatus from it while he finishes his book.  I did the same today (and switched off my e-mail) and wrote solidly all afternoon.  Although I rarely switch off my e-mail, I have learned to Tweet in bursts – early morning, lunchtime and evening mostly – so that I can concentrate on the writing.  When I have characters voices in my head it’s not ideal to have their conversations interrupted by even the most well-meaning and intelligent of Tweets.

Ultimately, it’s like anything – overdone it’s bound to have negative effects of some kind or other.  Hopefully, it won’t make any of us go blind.