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Thought Leaders Can be so Slow

Posted in New Media and Tech

Kara Swisher writes today that a lot of people she surveyed while attending a wedding had not heard of Twitter. I’ll pause while you retrieve the beverage you just dropped on the floor in disbelief. Even more astonishing than the lack of Twit-hipness among Swisher’s acquaintances is that bloggers have been writing about this as if this news were revelatory in some way. It’s one thing for bloggers and new media types to live in geographical (Silicon Valley) or virtual bubbles, but it’s quite another when they don’t even realize they do.

Come on, people! Are all of your friends on Twitter? Really? If so, you should make some more, outside that weird place you live in.

I hail from a tech-savvy town, and many of my friends are involved in the computer industry in one way or another. But even they are not glued to Twitter or other social media. They have these things called lives, and relationships with people who live in their own home towns. Sometimes they manage to arrange a dinner that is not a “meetup”. They volunteer for the PTA, or raise kids. They run into their pals at the grocery store. They may well have Facebook profiles, but they do it for fun, or because that’s what you did in college. No one has told them why, and I can’t, they need Twitter. Some may find it eventually, and some may never find it. And the world will continue to spin on its axis.

I dig Twitter. I really do. It keeps me in touch with lots of people who live far away. I’m on it every single day. But I’ve got a news flash for you. In my world, the real world. speaking in 140 character bursts is not a prerequisite to being plugged into life.

By the way, Kara Swisher, whose name goes without attribution in much of the tech blog world, is a Wall Street Journal contributor and co-producer of a big deal tech conference with Walt Mossberg.

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