Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tweet Off

What is the fascination with Twitter? I ask this question seriously. It's obviously extremely popular with millions of people and is perhaps the most written-about social networking service. I just don't get it. I understand that actual blogging, thinking up topics, putting thoughts into sentences and paragraphs, can be a time-consuming task. Micro-blogging, with a limit of 140 characters, can be an easy way to throw your thoughts out into the winds. What are you doing right now? it asks, and I guess my answer is, ultimately, "Nothing anyone cares about."

I understand Twitter's usefulness in real-time reporting. Live blogging in more than 140 characters can distract the reporter from the unfolding event, and Twitter is a great way to convey events as they unfold. Following reporters at last summer's party conventions, for example, was interesting, and I always enjoy checking out the Twitter feed one of our local reporters posts for City Council meetings even though, as a participant in the meetings, I'm reading them hours later. My life, however, holds little journalistic interest. Events here in my house unfold at a glacial pace. "Thinking about lunch," I might say around noon, and then an hour or so later I might be able to report, "Eating cheese." If I have one meaningful thought a day, or if one meaningful thing happens a day, it's been an eventful day indeed. Most days feature much more chaff than wheat.

Some people use Twitter as a form of chat. Rather than IM, they correspond in a series of Tweets. I see that this is easier than email in that one can hold simultaneous conversations with a number of people, all from one feed. But who really has that much to say? I sure don't. It's all I can do to think of a Facebook status update that anyone but my cat might be interested in reading, and I only post those at most once a day.

There's also something about the language of Twitter that annoys me. On Twitter, one "follows" and has people "following," as if the site is comprised of millions of prophets or philosopher-kings. I'm not a follower, and I don't want to be followed. It's annoying that Facebook has turned the word "friend" into a verb, but all in all I'd rather friend someone than follow her.

I don't want to give in and Tweet, I really don't. So please, let's all agree not to. If enough of us ignore Twitter, maybe it will go away.


J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

You were refrenced last night on twitter.

2riv_eastonCouncilwrner Warner just asked why I wasn't twittering. Then I showed her what I've tweeted so far
about 11 hours ago from TwitterMail

2riv_eastoner, that should have been "councilwoman"
about 11 hours ago from TwitterMail

Diane said...

Can't agree more. My take is that people who Tweet think they are enormously important. Either that or they've just got more time on their hands than I do.

I also think these are the same people who talk incessantly on their cell phones while driving down the center of the highway, scaring folks half to death, and who interrupt every single meeting I've attended lately with the phrase, "Oops! That was my phone!" Ever notice how these same folks have extremely distinctive ring tones that sound like sirens? But I digress.

tunsie said...

I don't have twitter but i do get e-mail my e mail today read go 2 court and file harrasment charges against that idiot.when u do that go 2 the firehouse and file a complaint now that he is in a president would not look good 4 him if u threaten a lawsuit.and she is not your friend.if she were she would protect u 2.she would not stand up 4 them every time they throw digs at you.I love u jennifer u are sooooooooooooooooo mature.uncle.uncle.uncle