Status updates aren’t what they used to be

January 14, 2010

Do you update your status on sites such as Facebook and Twitter as often as you once did? Do you still take time to say what you did when you first started using social media?

I first signed on to Twitter at BarCamp Nashville in 2007, mainly because I thought it would be fun to see something that I typed wind up on a video screen a few seconds later. That’s the first event I attended where status updates were publicly displayed, and lots of us got a kick out of seeing the crowd watch our words hit the screen. It was before Twitterers came up with hashtags, so the tweets were singled out by including “pcn” in them. (That, and the BarCamp Nashville Twitter account had to be following you.) Before long, it was common to see tweets displayed that way at events, and sites such as Twitterfall made it easy for anyone to set up.

I wonder whether we’re seeing the maturation of the status update as a concept. Initially, it really was checking in. Status was taken literally, and we reported on our trips to the dentist or our arrival at the office or at home. We used status updates to indicate where we were more than anything else.

These days, I find myself focusing on sharing something that’s interesting, whether it’s something I’ve read, something I’m doing or my take on developing news and events. The original intention of status updates seems to have taken a back seat to this type of missive, and I think that’s good news for all of us. Checking in isn’t all that important anymore; we turn to social media to learn, to converse and to be entertained. I like that focus much better.

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