Jillian C. York

Jillian C. York is a writer and activist.

Tag: Mom

Strange Choices

I logged into MySpace tonight for the first time in, apparently, about a year and a half.  My last hesitant update read “Jill doesn’t check MySpace.  E-mail her.”  I haven’t used my nickname publicly in a long time, and most of the people I know have left MySpace.  I wasn’t going to delete it, but the updates required to make it tolerable were just too much…it was simply easier to seek the “cancel account” button (which, by the way, was pretty complicated to find).

On a somewhat separate note, my mother joked on her Facebook wall this morning that she doesn’t use Facebook because she has her own secret social network.  I shot back, “You’re on MySpace?” to which she responded (via e-mail no less), “I said secret, not stupid.”  Touché, Mom.

Screen shot 2009-10-25 at 12.06.54 AM

Is Twitter Hurting “Real-Life” Relationships?

I’ve talked a lot about Twitter here lately.  Everyone is talking about Twitter, even people who don’t use it.  The fact is, Twitter has invaded our lives; not just the lives of the digerati, but those of students, moms, television personalities…even cats.  Rather than texting, we’re tweeting.  Instead of blogging, we’re tweeting.  Sometimes we’re even tweeting about blogging.

Tweeting about blogging?

Tweeting about blogging?

But when is tweeting too much?  A coworker, who is not on Twitter or Facebook and basically seems to eschew all technology except her laptop, is a bit skeeved out by the communication that happens on Twitter, mainly the fact that we are using Twitter to communicate with people we’d normally have regular conversations with.

I admit, I too have moments of frustration, such as when someone direct messages me to invite me somewhere (rather than sending an SMS or giving a phone call), but on the other hand, some of the ordinary communication that happens on Twitter is the best.  For example, this morning, I sent out a tweet exclaiming my excitement over a particular download:

(it's true, it pleases me muchly)

(it's true, it pleases me muchly)

_My mother, rather than waiting until our next phone call or visit, then sent me a direct message which read, “Are you serious about Joan Baez? I have many old albums, I had no idea you even knew her.” (hope you don’t mind my sharing that, Mom!)

What’s interesting here is that, in my narcissistic use of Twitter, my mom discovered something about me she didn’t know before.  I’ve heard the same thing from my dad before about my blogging, incidentally.  In other words, rather than having a negative effect on my communication with my parents, the Internet has actually improved it – teaching my mother how to use Twitter gave us something fun we could share together; when my dad – who learned how to use the Internet last summer – calls me, we always have something new we read online to share with each other.

So, no.  I don’t think Twitter, or any other social networking, is detrimental to my “real-life” relationships.  While I could do with a little less tweeting from bars (especially on Tuesday nights), I’m glad to have this type of communication throughout the day with my friends and loved ones that was just never available before.

Teaching my Mom to Twitter

A couple of weeks ago, I made a pledge to teach someone how to blog or use Twitter.  The initiative was suggested in GV’s internal e-mail list and everyone immediately embraced it – and so Valentine’s Day 2009 became Social Media Kisses day.

I was willing, of course – the problem was that I couldn’t think of anyone in my daily life who doesn’t already blog or use Twitter.  After all, I do work at the Internet frontier.

But thanks to the great work from the rest of the GV community, it suddenly occurred to me this morning who to ask…My mom!  She’s very busy, so I couldn’t see her blogging, but she’s also very Internet-savvy (and more knowledgeable about computer hardware and networks than I am), so I figured she could catch on quickly to Twitter.

And, of course, she did:


So go ahead – follow my mom on Twitter!  It certainly won’t be the weirdest thing you’ve ever done.

And if you’d like to join the initiative, sign the pledge and tag your tweets #SMK (social media kisses).

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