Friday, June 5, 2009

The Slap Bracelet of Online Social Networking

I said I wasn’t going to be one of those cynical old bats who bitches about whatever new website or widget or thingamabob on the internet the kids love these days. But I was lying. I said that because I decided to get on board the Twitter bandwagon. I have now log-rolled off of that bandwagon in a spectacular fashion. It’s official: Twitter is dumb and pointless. I thought that since EVERYONE was talking about it and EVERYONE had one, there had to be something to it. There had to be some sort of appeal or practical use for the thing. Turns out there isn’t. I suspected that someone would have to be pretty darn chuffed with their own cleverness (or perceived cleverness) to be a habitual, hardcore Twitterer. Maybe there’s some exceptions to the rule but the fact that there are now sites like this one dedicated to outing the more obnoxious Twitterers out there.

Again, no one has yet been able to explain to me why I would want to Twitter or why I would be interested in other people’s Twitter. I get that it’s just a huge stage where people can tell the world how awesome they are. I get that it’s a way to constantly update the universe on what you are doing AT THAT EXACT MOMENT. But as this guy can tell you (in 140 or fewer characters, no less), if you are actually doing what you claim to be doing in your tweet while you are tweeting, you are probably putting yourself in some danger of sustaining an injury. Which is why when people tweet about “Swimming in the ocean right now…vacations rule!” or whatever, I think “Wow, you have a waterproof phone and/or laptop?” The only 100% true and honest tweet would be, “Am on Twitter right now, typing a tweet.”

I am so sick of hearing about Twitter. I am so sick of being assaulted with offers to follow people on Twitter. I am only slightly bemused when objects, buildings and fictional characters have a Twitter. I am annoyed that all news about or statements by celebrities, athletes or anyone famous is issued forth on Twitter. I am just annoyed by Twitter’s existence at this point. I just don’t see a future where Twitter is an established means of communication. It has a distinct Friendster smell to it.

And then I read this statistic in the elevator at work today:

Study: Top 10% of Twitter users do 90% of the tweeting

So I am not alone. The great wall of white noise that is Twitter is not, as I had feared, a mass exodus of humanity towards the rocky, jagged cliffs of 140 character or less human interaction. It’s basically just two or three people standing around screaming at the top of their lungs. I feel better.


Spamboy said...

Then you're not Tweeting correctly -- there are plenty of ways to avoid that crap but still get a useful experience out of the whole thing. There've been a few people I know who thought along those lines until they learned more -- lemme know and we can discuss.

Steve said...

Spamboy is full of shit and your article is spot on. Twitter is fucking useless. It's a device to put peoples' inherent narcissim on display for all the world to see. Thank you for saying what needed to be said.

TD said...

Yeah...I don't get Twitter. Funny to read this tho.

Grandpa Walton said...

Welcome back from your gallop among the bovine.

Goodnight, Amanda.

Spamboy said...

That's right, Steve -- because it's narcissistic to use the tool to help support Iranian election protests, or to educate about children's kidney transplants, or to pass along breaking news.