Diane asked this question, in essence, in the comments to a recent post. Here’s a particularly heartfelt explanation of the value, to some of us, of following the “status updates” of Twitter and Facebook friends.
“As a user of Twitter and Facebook status updates, I can tell you that they have come to matter to me in a way that I find surprising. Seeing a list of what all my friends, family, and acquaintances are up to helps me to feel connected to them. This is not just silly “Joe Blow is at the mall shopping for an iPhone” trivia either, though that is a crucial element of social currency. Important information can be conveyed, too. It was through a status update that I learned of an old friend’s work in freeing slaves in Calcutta, for example.”