twit(ter), or Hey You Kids, Get off My Lawn

I have tried and tried, but I totally don’t get Twitter. I mean, I understand the concept – I just don’t see the point.

Who cares that I’m eating lunch at [fill in the blank]? Or that I’m picking up my dry cleaning? Or sitting in traffic? Or that I LOLed about something to the point it made me ROTFLMAO?

The level to which we have become voyeurs and exhibitionists is mind boggling. And I say this as a person who blogs, but you will note that most of my blogs center around the observational. The outward. I’m not writing in intimate detail about everything I did that day or who I had personal interactions with. Because, really, who gives a shit?

Text messaging is already disruptive enough in social situations. Now we have to deal with people Twittering about who’s in the bar with them? What if I don’t have an interest in people knowing where I am? Even parties now feature live web cam feeds. I would rather not have random strangers (or just the strange) watching me (or, I should say, everyone in camera-sight – not me in particular) at a party. What if I needed to pick my underwear out of my ass? Can I get a little privacy? Nope.

I know that some of you are big texters, Twitterers, web cam feeders, etc. Please feel free to chime in. Maybe I’m missing something interesting. Maybe this next wave of internet intrusion is passing me by, and I’ll be left in the wake, blogging to no one while everyone else has moved on.

7 Replies to “twit(ter), or Hey You Kids, Get off My Lawn”

  1. Hey there.
    I’m actually a big fan of Twitter. Of course, everyone is going to use it differently, but for me it’s a great tool for finding out about articles, videos, new blogs, and so on – good information from smart people I might not otherwise have stumbled upon. One of our local papers sends out story developments, road conditions, weather updates, etc. that I keep tabs on during the day. And, it’s fairly amusing to banter and talk smack with work folks.
    Those uses aside, it’s interesting to think about just how much the Obama camp adopted new technology during the campaign – to include Twitter. I know we’re both big supporters and advocates and it was great to stay tapped-in over the last year. They sent out updates when he was at a Town Hall meeting (with links to watch it live) responses to all manner of bullshit coming from the McCain camp or FOX news, updates letting folks know where to look for him next, and so on.
    All this to say, you get out of Twitter exactly what you want. In fact, NPR has a feed you might enjoy: http://twitter.com/nprnews. Give it a shot…

  2. I think perhaps a key element to this discussion is the fact that I don’t have a “smart” phone. Or even a mildly intelligent one. I’m plugged in to the internet all day at work and quite a bit evenings/weekends, so I can access all of the things you listed at my leisure (I get email alerts similar to the things you mentioned, which I can peruse as I have time rather than while I’m grocery shopping or having lunch with a friend). I think Twitter is a good tool for people who are always “on.” I have to be off sometimes, or my eyes start to hurt and I lose the ability to have a real conversation with a live human being…

    And I’m also concerned about the disappearing right to privacy, but that’s a rant for another day.

  3. At work, we used Twitter to talk about or provide links to news about us (news releases, videos, blogs). Those who follow us are interested in that kind of information. Similarly, those reporters who might want a resource for a story can read our tweets for resources or post their query. It’s very useful for us.

  4. Good point, UH. I can now see a business-related usefulness to Twitter.

    I remain confounded by the personal use of it – and I see this on Facebook, too – where people are listing (almost literally) each and every thing they do during the day.

    >Eating lunch at Barnaby’s with Amy.

    >Going to Target to buy socks.

    >Having a particularly uncomfortable bowel movement.

    Maybe that uber mundane stuff eventually will filter itself out as the technology becomes more familiar. Most of us didn’t know what to do with email when it first appeared on the scene. Back then, emailing mostly consisted of sending stupid jokes back and forth. We weren’t really communicating.

  5. Thanks for the quick response. Just a clarification. Like you, my phone is decidedly old-school – some might say just this side of a rotary – so my Twitter use is confined to an App on my desktop.
    And I agree completely; feeds are great for staying up-to-date with the sites and blogs I know about. It’s the sites I don’t that make Twitter really useful.

  6. Maybe I should have clarified, Michael. I was mostly talking about people who sit in restaurants or their cars and post tedious details on twitter via their phones. As you and the other commenter have noted, there are some useful aspects to the application.

  7. This was a really funny post, no matter what your affinity towards Twitter. I don’t know much about it myself.

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