Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

The Twittiness of Twitter

15 Jul

I don’t get Twitter.

twitter, v.  (used without object)
1. to utter a succession of small, tremulous sounds, as a bird.
2. to talk lightly and rapidly, esp. of trivial matters; chatter.
3. to titter; giggle.
4. to tremble with excitement or the like; be in a flutter.

twit, v.
1. to taunt, tease, ridicule, etc., with reference to anything embarrassing; gibe at.
2. to reproach or upbraid.

twit, n.
Slang 1. A foolishly annoying person.

The second definition of twit, really, is the one that hits that nail for me. We all are foolishly annoying people, aren’t we?

It’s no surprise that I’m against social media. I find it strange, and impersonal and narcissistic. We’re not exchanging information, or educating ourselves. We’re trying out to be the most popular, greatest, awesome-est online us-es there are. Woohoo.

Mostly, I just don’t believe anyone is important enough for tweeting. Why is it that suddenly the egos of the masses have assembled to declare thoughts, ideas and imagination in the form of um, idle chit chat?

In the immortal, brilliant words of Mike Birbiglia (pre-Twitter, of course):

I’m always embarrassed to tell people I have a blog ’cause everybody has a blog, about anything: “Today I went to JCPenney.” And there’s one comment, “JCPenney, eh?” That’s not a blog, that’s a text message.

I know, I know. Technically, you are currently reading a blog. But, since I’ve yet to land a superior and utterly fitting job as a newspaper columnist, this will have to do. In context of my argument, blog, text, tweet, post, and now, dear Lord, a thing called lifestream, all go into the same soup pot.

Seriously, we should be ashamed. I think I started to become annoyed when news broke that our government officials were tweeting their 140-character posts like, “This session is boring.” Then, the tabloids and Twitter started dating, in probably the rags’ greatest faux relationship ever: using Twitter as a source.

Finally, last week, I wrote a story about Reba McEntire chiding fellow country musician Blake Shelton for his inappropriate tweets, and my head exploded.

It’s too much. Too much Twitter! It’s like a parallel universe to the new Bing commercials; a world of loud, chirpy chirps multiplying so that all you get is noise. Even if a particular twit is a virtuoso of wit and wisdom, after a minute-long shelf life, it gets shoved down, past that “more” icon, lost to the graveyard of tweets, unread.

Even Twitter’s self-explanation of its purpose raises my anti-social media line:

The result of using Twitter to stay connected with friends, relatives, and coworkers is that you have a sense of what folks are up to but you are not expected to respond to any updates unless you want to. This means you can step in and out of the flow of information as it suits you and it never queues up with increasing demand of your attention.

First, they used “folks” and “queues” in the same paragraph. What?  Second, Twitter (and other social media) is not about connectedness. That involves reciprocation, and unity and joining. All this short, fast-paced, look-at-me-mentality is the anti-connectedness. To borrow a phrase from a friend, “it’s a blatant display of online social self-masturbation.”

That’s quite a definition.