CAN TWITTER SATISFY OUR DEEPEST NEEDS?

Maybe some of them. I rather like Ruth Reichl's take on Twitter:

Twitter is a sort of public diary; figurative scraps of paper. Are you enjoying it?

Enormously. As I wrote in my first book, privacy is overrated. My mother’s scraps of paper were shouts into the void, and I think she would have been much happier if she could have sent them into the world instead of sticking them in a box. We all want, very much, to be seen and understood.

That's a nice thought. And it's true that Twitter, like blogs, democratizes access to the means of recognition. It's not so much that people want to be watched as that they want to be seen. People -- including, sadly, me -- mock all the trivia that makes it onto Twitter -- "I'm at the gym, and hate the elliptical machine!" -- but that stuff isn't trivia to the people experiencing it. It's the stuff of life. And the ability to share it helps to make it matter.

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