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Jon

I use Twitter a fair amount but to be honest I'm still not a big fan, personally. I generally will spend 20-minutes on it and then afterwards feel as though my time was ill-spent. Its not really a conversation, its more a bunch of random shouting. Is there some value? Sure. But I think the opportunity cost may often outweigh it. Many things have value. How much value they have is another story.

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Thanks for your thoughts, Jon. I like your use of opportunity cost as an illustration of value (or lack thereof).

I cannot say that I have used it but I imagine Twitter's value is more entertainment than anything else.

One element that may be of value, to me as a writer, is communicating an idea in less than 140 characters, which is Twitter's limit.

Actually saying something of real value or meaning can be difficult in few words, which is why I am a fan of philosophical quotes.

Less is more. This may be the attraction and distraction of Twitter...

Kent

Matthew Clement

While online social networking is likely here to stay, the subjective and limited use of Twitter is a mere fad.

Not to worry... you'll soon reach, once again, an equilibrium between foundational conversation and online communication.

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Matthew:

If I am understanding you correctly, I like your reference to "equilibrium" as a natural process.

As fads and trends become mainstream, people generally grow tired of them and long for a return to something that resembles experience before the fad or trend existed.

Music is a wonderful example. I grew up in the 1970's and 1980's and observed popular music move more and more to a large, theatrical and highly packaged product. The use of synthesizers, the perceived need for the big concert and the popularity of big hair and the fast lifestyle eventually killed itself. By the 1990's, the simplistic styles, such as Seattle "grunge rock" and folksy Dave Matthews Band types emerged...

Thanks for commenting...

Kent

Connie B

Personally I think Thoreau would abhor twitter. He might appreciate it's brevity, but I seriously doubt that a man who sought relative solitude in the woods, and desired to "suck the marrow out of life" would ever participate in something as shallow as using Twitter. Twitter provides only the basest of social connections, even for people that you know well.

It is not an effective communication tool, and frankly, I think it takes interpersonal relationships to a shockingly base level.

LOL. Awesome post. I have certainly never considered what Thoreau would think of today's social media.

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Connie: I agree wholeheartedly that Thoreau would "abhor" Twitter. As you may have guessed, the post title is a bit sarcastic but a relevant question nonetheless.

The implied lesson of the post is to remain conscious of our behaviors and what value systems we base them upon.

I admire Thoreau and feel grateful that his words still exist (and apply) today.

Thanks for the comment...

Kent

David


Hi,

I'm visiting your site after updating (guess?) my Twitter page. Though I'm not really here to sell you, or anyone else, on the merits of Twitter (@ev and @biz don't pay me enough for that) I will add a few thoughts here, if I may.

I think that in order for us to find any tool or technology worthwhile, we must first see that it serves an actual purpose in our daily lives. At first blush, Twitter may seem like an empty form of entertainment. I certainly find it entertaining, but its utility is certainly not limited to this.

I wanted to investigate further when I found out that people were using Twitter to share valuable info in real time. I became even more interested when I saw that the info in tweets could be aggregated by topic (say, trading/investing ideas or market related news) and web communities could be built around those subjects & on top of the Twitter platform (eg, Stocktwits).

There are many other uses/benefits which I'm sure you'd find over time. Of course, there are those who would (rightly) find no use for such a tool. Twitter, like almost anything else, is what you make of it.

I will say this, Kent: at least you've shown a spirit of inquiry on this topic. If we believe the statistics on the high rate of "Twitter abandonment" (new users who sign up & then fail to update their profiles), then it seems there are many people who join Twitter on a lark or simply because it seems like "the thing to do".

For more useful debate on Twitter, see comments thread to this piece:

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-case-against-twitter-by-the-numbers-2009-6

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

David:

You certainly are among those included in my reference to "people I know and respect" who use Twitter. Another person is Dr. Brett at Traderfeed (http://traderfeed.blogspot.com/), who provides a great deal of value to his readers with Twitter.

I also have a friend who is a broadcast journalist and needs to stay constantly in touch with the news. Twitter works quite well for him.

As for me, I will delay the use of Twitter but keep my mind open to it.

Thanks for the input and for the link to more information...

Kent

Deb Braidic

I think you would enjoy Twitter in an odd way because it is one more thing blurring the lines for people.

It lets you ask anyone in the world anything you want at any time you want and they have the luxury of choosing or not choosing to answer you.

But you do get to have idle conversations with strangers with little or no commitment to great commitment - depending upon you and how you approach twitter.

I have not committed to twitter, but I play idly with it and I have scored a few really great helpers along the way in my professional life as a result.

mens health

I am a big fan of postsecret.com. I agree with the fact that it gives people an outlet to express their feelings without backlash. Alot of people can relate to the problems on the site. It's really awesome that the creators of the site help the users with their problems.

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  • Kent Thune is a wealth manager, a writer and a philosopher... Read More

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