The Frontal Cortex


So I joined Twitter. I’m still not on Facebook, for intransigent reasons that I don’t fully understand and can’t begin to express. But consider Twitter my bold leap into the world of the social web. I guess what I enjoy about Twitter is the sheer banality of the tweets, which remind me of normal, intimate conversation. There’s the occasional moment of wit or humor, but mostly what people write about is the weather, or their hair, or what they had for lunch, or how much they hate airport delays. It’s as if people are constantly texting this universe of strangers about how they feel. What’s even weirder is that the strangers seem to care. Plus, Shaq is on twitter.


  1. #1 Comrade PhysioProf
    January 17, 2009

    I’m still not on Facebook, for intransigent reasons that I don’t fully understand and can’t begin to express.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAH! Same here, dude!

  2. #2 Fargo
    January 17, 2009

    You know, I actually have a facebook account, yet have logged into it only once. I think I signed up to see some pictures a friend had put up, but even that is a hazy memory.

  3. #3 Cheri
    January 17, 2009

    Did you see David Pogue’s column in the NYT yesterday or day before about Twitter?

  4. #4 adnauseam
    January 17, 2009

    I’m going to regret joining twitter, aren’t I?

    Ha, I feel like everyone who resists for so long winds up making that their first post. And for good reason!

  5. #5 matt griffin
    January 17, 2009

    I don’t think you’ll regret twitter. it is what you make of it, and if you don’t pay attention to it for a while, it’s far from the end of the world. I love it, personally. it’s part chat, part email, part txt, part news, and so on and so on…

  6. #6 Lefty
    January 18, 2009

    Not a tweeter, although I’m basically the same thing on Facebook, as the by far primary mode of communication is through status updates (and the comments therein). I joined it because that’s where it seems all my friends are.

  7. #7 Lefty
    January 18, 2009

    I should add, Twitter is probably a lot better for banalcasting than Facebook for someone with a higher profile like you Jonah (you’re famous!) While you can open your Facebook profile wide up, you generally can’t use it for anything else should the fancy strike you.

  8. #8 Karli
    January 18, 2009

    I agree with Lefty- Facebook is imperative for keeping up with all of the people in my life. I don’t know much about Twitter, but I’m tempted to join for your updates alone. You used the phrase “exceedingly melancholy” in one of your updates, for goodness sake. Delicious.

  9. #9 Maya Sari
    January 18, 2009

    I’m studying graphic design and consequently all these web publications and how they’ve started to emerge. That must be the most wonderful description of Twitter I’ve heard anyone be able to sum up! What a lovely way of putting it, I’m going to start quoting you on that one.

  10. #10 Steve Silberman
    January 18, 2009

    Though I can’t think of anyone I’d rather “follow” on Twitter than Jonah, I haven’t activated my account, because a cascade of news blips about what all my friends are doing is not quite what I need. I need less blips, more real news.

    But Facebook. I have been an enthusiastic member for a couple of years now. What happened last week is a good illustration of why I like it. I don’t really care about joining the “Sully” fan club, though of course I did. I have zero interest in getting virtual “drinks” or “zombie bites” from friends, so I decline all invitations to add apps. But last week, I got a friend invitation from one of my first two best friends on Earth, who I knew 38 years ago in Queens. Following links on a class picture, I got to talk with my old classmates from junior high school about our favorite teachers, one of my early experiences of kissing anyone (which I’d completely forgotten, but it was witnessed by one of my classmates, who remembered it vividly), and our neighborhood, which I discovered had morphed from nearly 100 percent white to mostly Asian, with the Waldbaum’s turned into an excellent Chinese market with a tank full of live fish.

    It was a Proustian extravaganza, unleashed just by clicking a couple of links.

    I like Facebook.

  11. #11 Neal Wiser
    January 19, 2009

    Welcome to Twitter. What you’re experiencing is a common occurrence for new users. Use a tool like TweetDeck to filter your stream, it will help a lot. I’ll be posting about this on my new blog (NEALWISER.COM) in another day or so. until then, I’ll follow you.

    You can Follow me on Twitter at: nealwiser

  12. #12 Brad A. Greenberg
    January 20, 2009

    Welcome, Jonah. Laurel Snyder put it perfectly when she welcomed my editor to Twitter: “Likely you won’t get it at all, then it’ll become a major time suck, and at last you’ll settle into it.”

  13. #13 shelby mack
    January 21, 2009

    Facebook can be really cool and I can’t quite work up the gumption to quit, but I sometimes wish I’d never joined because the costs most often outweigh the benefits.

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