What if Jerry Seinfeld and his pals on the show had cell phones, Twitter, Foursquare, or any of the other 'social' devices we take for granted anymore?

(from Wikipedia)

Instead of barging in to Jerry's apartment, would Kramer text message Seinfeld from his couch? Instead of ringing Jerry's buzzer when he was in the neighborhood, would Costanza just show up at Monk's when he saw Jerry and Elaine 'check in'? Would the show be more interesting? Less? We'll never really know the answers to these questions.

When I started using foursquare a few months ago, it seemed like a pretty promising concept. For years people have been describing some sort of program by which you broadcast the place you're hanging out to all your friends and one or some of them decides to join you as they read your message. Foursquare seemed like the tool to make that happen. But in the past few weeks, something has changed. Now I click on the "nearby" tab on my phone, and places like "Tom's House" and "Shell Gas Station" are showing up in my list. I log onto Twitter and see messages like "I just became the mayor of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles".

There's a thin line between being social and too much information. It's one thing to know that my friends are having a drink at my favorite bar or coffee shop; it's entirely another to know that they're pumping gas on the way home from work.

4 comments:

    A few days ago George Packer wrote about the same thing at the New Yorker. He said, "Twitter is crack for media addicts. It scares me, not because I’m morally superior to it, but because I don’t think I could handle it. I’m afraid I’d end up letting my son go hungry."

    For many years I refused to get a cell phone. When people would ask me why I didn't have one I always said, "I want to make it harder for people to find me, not easier." I only gave in when my wife finally insisted, and even now after four years only four people have my number. At this rate I figure I'll probably need to get an iPhone about the time I drop dead.

     

    I like what you are saying about twitter. The way it was described to me was that I could be a "me-former" or an "informer". I am trying to be an informer and add quality content to others who share my interests and views. I don't think anyone needs to know what I am doing every second of every day though! And I do think telling your friends information such as where you are having a drink is definetly "informing" and provides them possible desired information! I recently stumbled upon your blog and am very excited I did.
    Amber

     

    AndrewBW, thanks for the New Yorker Tip.

    Amber, thanks for stopping by. Do you mind sharing how you stumbled over here to my corner of the internet? If you wouldn't mind sending me a quick email, I'm interested to learn a little about your career?

     

    I don't think Kramer would use Twitter. I think he'd be suspicious of it and befuddled by it, like when he found himself at the intersection of First and First. Still, it's an interesting idea. I think you just blew my mind!