My friend Spleeness pointed me at an excellent article in the NY Times about Twitter and Facebook, and why it's so appealing to get small and frequent updates from people about what they are doing. The article explains very elegantly why something that sounds so stupid when you haven't done it actually seems to fill a deep social need.
I've been familiar with the way this works in Facebook but this article motivated me to finally try Twitter (as amichaelberman, in case you want to "follow me"). Life is a sequence of moments, and the sharing these moments - profound, trivial, and inane - enables us to stay connected in a world where the people we care about are distributed across the globe. I think these are real connections and they are here to stay.