Stuff that bugs me on Twitter.

For some reason Twitter dominated most of my conversations this week. My friend Natasha promotes her blog and business there. Stephanie reads but doesn’t post (and also puts together her own social media plans, which I’ve never even attempted. Impressive!) Angie’s just getting started on it. I found myself explaining how Twitter works and sounding like an avid user … even, I dare say, a proponent.

If you’d told me 6 months ago that I’d be giving advice on, nay touting the use of, Twitter, I would have thought about hitting you in the face. I sort of despised it, thought it was silly and did everything I could — even as a professional communicator — to avoid it. I had my own account and used it sporadically, but I wasn’t a fan. Then I got the job with hours and hours of downtime and the iPhone that makes reading and posting to Twitter a snap. It’s the perfect storm of staying informed and burning time. Continue reading

An ode to penmanship.

While perusing Twitter today, I found a really interesting article about the importance of writing by hand. That’s kind of ironic considering a) I read the story online and b) I’m talking about it by typing into my blog. Oops. The gist of the article is that writing by hand develops cognitive skills, so all of our typing and texting may be endangering kids’ intelligence. Isn’t that scary?

I am totally reliant on email and texting now, but I didn’t start using email until my freshman year of college, when we were required by my English professor to sign up for the school email accounts. Back then, email was this little, blank DOS screen with a black blinking cursor. Even so, I used it to keep up with all of my friends who went to other schools. I even met people on an early listserv who are still friends today. (Then I was an early adopter; now I have become old and skeptical of emerging technologies.)

A couple of years out of school, when I was sitting in front of email/Internet at work all day, I started to think about how little I wrote anything to anyone by hand. I mean, I keep and treasure every scrap of mail I’ve ever received from my loved ones. If you sent me a Christmas card in 1998, I probably still have it. So, I can go back and read the letters and cards that my grandparents sent to me or the (hilarious) letters I sent to my mom while I was at camp. A printout of an email or online card, no matter the sentimentality, just isn’t the same. Keep reading »