I’ve fallen in love with Twitter.  You can follow me, if you like (http://twitter.com/Choodomir if you’re not on twitter, or just @Choodomir if you are), and the reason that I find it more addictive than watching an ADD kid on pixy sticks playing human-pinball—admittedly, not P.C., but such ridiculous fun— is twofold: first, I tend to go on and on (insert your own snide comment here), and second it allows you a method to follow people and events that is both insanely intimate and yet at arms reach.  You get to see people reacting to the world, one tweet at a time.  Of course some people sensor themselves, while others barley use their account.  Still others send such a non-stop stream of tweets that you wonder if they actually do anything else all day long.  I have some days that I have one or two tweets and others where I have a plethora.  So even the volume of tweets can tell you something.  Yet as sweet as I find twitter, I also wonder if it is not an interesting comment on our time.

Let me switch topics for a moment.  Shows like Project Runway, Mythbusters, Dirty Jobs, and Iron Chief have all enjoyed huge popularity over the past few years.  At the same time, I learned that the trade industries are pouring money into programs to encourage people to consider things like elevator repair, welding, and industrial machining.  These are all jobs that require a high degree of skill to do well, that pay well, and that are shunned just as much as that ADD kid.

It seems that as a culture we love to appreciate people who are skilled with their hands.  People who make things, or make things better.  But we don’t actually want to be the ones to get dirty and make them ourselves.  There are a few exceptions to this rule: surgeons and doctors come to mind, but I wonder if that is more a product of perceived prestige and the belief that the money involved is so good that it will make the grueling hours and educational debt worth it?

Twitter is the same phenomenon, but on the electric plane.  We can watch something without getting our hands involved.  I was rather humbled the other night when good friends of mine sent me a text message that left little room for negotiation.  To whit: “I hope you don’t have plans next weekend cause we’re flying you to San Antonio.”  That is the exact opposite of twitter.  To spend time with a person.  To laugh, to drink, to cry, and collect those inside jokes that only make sense to you and your friends.  And for those of you who have not guessed, my friends is a highly skilled tradesman, so if you ever need a motorcycle repaired or just some good cycle gear (and you happen to be in south Texas), hit me up…I know people!

I love twitter.  For the dazzling urbanite (ten bonus points if you know the movie I just blatantly ripped off), it is a great way to meet people and to find out what is going on, but like anything truly intricate that requires work and skill, relationships require time and a bit more effort then 140 characters can muster.  I consider it a huge complement that most of the folks I follow on twitter, do meet up with me and that we have had some awesome times in the flesh, with more to come.  But that illusionary immediacy and coziness truly is the sign of the time.