Too Much Information Led To Communication Breakdown?*

Feb 18, 2010 by

Let’s face it…Mardi Gras in this town could just as easily be called an Exhibitionist Festival, and nothing has enabled our exhibitionist tendencies like our cellular phones, which provide us with easy access to text messaging, which gives us our portals to the world’s largest ongoing conversation, the one going on on Twitter.

Yes, I am a self-described #twaddict.  The service definitely has its uses, and one of the best ones during Mardi Gras time is the updates on Twitter about the parades that are passing through your ‘hood so you don’t have to be standing there for forever waiting on them to come your way – especially good to have when the parade nights were as cold as they were this past season.  Other friends along the parade route can clue you in as well if they live closer to where the parades begin. Photos of people’s costumes, scenes of the celebration, and other sights of Carnival have gone ’round Twitter many times.

The ones that concern me the most, however, are the tweets of people’s exact locations, presented as a nifty game.  If you’re on Twitter, you’ve probably seen ’em. “I’m at ______  Airport.” “I’m at ______ Coffee Cafe.” “I’m at home” …all followed by a 4square URL.

Wait a second…

Back up…

People are tweeting the locations of their homes????

Guess what? Someone had the same thought I did regarding that tidbit of too much information:

PleaseRobMe service helps robbers by listing tweets of those who say “just left home”

Granted, I’ve put information on my blog and linked to it on Twitter concerning the Krewe of Pancakes and Syrup party we throw at our humble abode each year on Mardi Gras day…but I also ask people to email or DM me for my exact street address if they are interested. My address is certainly not out there for all to see, just for those I choose to have see. Foursquare presents people on Twitter with the ultimate temptation to throw the ultimate in too much information out there…you might as well throw your Social Security number out there for all to see, or, as on-again blogging dad The Zero Boss said to me in a tweet on the subject: It’s one step short of “the key is under the mat.”

Carnival is a time of  abandon, sure, but don’t go abandoning everything, folks.

Then again, this is where local cellular services (and I use the term “services” loosely here) helped out a little:

A lot of AT&T and T-Mobile customers complained about not getting cell phone service over the weekend and into Fat Tuesday.

AT&T said more people than ever want to share their experiences in real time, which means more texting, pictures and videos over cell phones. That, in turn, puts more demand on the network.

“What we’re working on is each cell tower being able to have more capacity, more lanes on the highway, wider lanes, and then the ability to shift traffic around from tower to tower. We did this in the championship and we did this in the Super Bowl,” Sue Sperry of AT&T said.

If these people can’t handle Mardi Gras, think of what could happen if the next hyper-active hurricane season comes around…

…no, I can’t wrap my head ’round that just yet.  I’m still recovering from Carnival.


*References for the post title are here and here.

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