Twitter is dividing our world into two groups: leaders and followers. Or I mean laggards and early adopters. Wait, regular people and losers. There, that feels right. It has been three years since I asked the question “WTF is Twitter?” and to this day no one has been able to adequately answer this question. Well gosh bless the guy who did this video because at least he tried. Watch the video and then I’ll tell you why it makes me cry for our world.
In case you missed my previous Twitter posts I believe Twitter holds value in obtaining quick information on any topic from multiple platforms. That is the only value it holds. Nowhere in that sentence did I say “Twitter holds value in finding out why Jeff thinks he should start going to a different Subway for lunch” because there is absolutely no way anyone could care enough about that to dial-up their modems and log on to Twitter and search for it and read about it.
In case I haven’t beaten this point into the ground enough, here are a few examples:
How Twitter Should Be Used
$149.99: iRobot Roomba 535 Robotic Vacuum with Lighthouse Technology http://www.woot.com
proof it’s our Skip RT: @RealSkipBayless Outrageous 6th foul call on DHoward! OK, refs making sure LeBron lives another day. Makes me sick.
New songs added to Coldplay iPhone Tap Tap game, price reduced until Sunday – http://bit.ly/vn59e
Why I Want To Leave Earth
Studying at starbucks til 2, running, shower, work til midnight. Ew.
Dyed my hair black. I feel so emo. XD
going to see JONAS BROTHERS THE 3D CONCERT EXPERIENCE! i’ve been waiting about a year for this!
But, according to the video, the latter examples are what Twitter was built for! Why are you being so mean, Gimcrack Miscellany!? Mean! Why! It’s because as Stephen Colbert so eloquently put it, “how can we go further? I know you’ve been on Twitter… but have you been on Nothing? The user interface is so intuitive!” Basically what he’s saying is that Twitter is dumbing down communication to the point of uselessness.
Debunking 7 Points Made By This Video
Point 1: It’s interesting to know what everyone we know is doing at all times, even if it’s just mowing the lawn or cooking dinner.
Counter-point: Actually it is not interesting to me. There, I said it. There are times when it’s ok for someone to be that interested, like when a mother wants to know what her son is up to at college because she misses him. He could call her and tell her each time he blinks and she would love it. But that is not normal. We have public and private lives, and our private lives are private for a reason.
Point 2: Unfortunately, most of our day-to-day lives are hidden from people that care.
Counter-point: No they are not. Have you ever heard of a blog? Or email? Or instant messengers? Or texting? Or free long distance from every single cell phone company? That’s why these things were invented, so that our day-to-day lives would not be hidden from the people that care.
Also, what the creator of this video does not understand is the concept of “people who care”. A random person on the internet does not care about your day-to-day life, thus they are not included in the “people who care” category. Your friend from college might care about your day-to-day life (although unlikely, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt), in which case you can tell this person “Here is my email address, also here is my phone number and my IM username. There are no boundaries to what you and I can share with each other now. Absolutely no boundaries.”
Point 3: You wouldn’t send an email to a friend to tell them you’re having coffee.
Counter-point: I have sent more than one email to a friend to tell them I’m having coffee. It’s because I’m asking that friend if they want to join me for coffee. In real life. Where we would talk with our mouths. And interact. Nevermind.
Point 4: Meet Carla. She’s addicted to her mobile phone, reads blogs all day, and has contacts all over the world.
Counter-point: I don’t really want to read tweets from someone like Carla who has an addiction to talking and reading blogs instead of working at her job. Adding Twitter to Carla’s life would make her head explode.
Point 5: Within hours she saw a different side to people she chose to follow. She didn’t know that her friend Steven in Seattle was a baseball fan.
Counter-point: If you haven’t gotten to know someone well enough to know one of their favorite hobbies was baseball (not exactly an intimate detail), you must have a problem listening to them when they talk to you in real life. Steven has probably tried to talk to you about baseball and has gotten his feelings hurt when you stopped listening. That’s why Steven moved to Seattle.
Point 6: Carla became a fan of Twitter and started posting updates. Her friends could see her life between blog posts and emails.
Counter-point: One of the reasons I like to get together with friends on the weekends is so I can talk about all the new things that I’ve experienced throughout the week, and listen to what’s been going on with them. This is how the world works and it’s the reason it’s still fun to get together on the weekends even though you may have been doing it for years. If your friend already knows every possible thing you’ve done and thought since you’ve seen them last, what are you going to talk about when you get together on the weekends? I find this type of mentality to actually lead your relationships to be less personal, which is the opposite of the apparent goal.
Point 7: This is exactly 140 characters. Twitter means you do not ever have to read long messages.
Counter-point: Doesn’t that seem like a bad thing? Something inside me feels like that’s a bad thing. I mean it’s sort of good, but it’s bad though I think right? Because it’s too easy. Isn’t reading a good thing to do? I don’t know if this is a counter-point, I just had this instinct that you would be able to create your own counter-point here. Maybe you should Twitter your counter-point and I’ll go check it out. Sike.
It seems like a lot of people, including the creator of this video, are rooting for Twitter to succeed (which it will) and are even pushing for it to succeed. They’re almost audibly cheering for it. Twitter is good for certain things and bad for other things. You know what this argument sort of reminds me of? The Mac vs. PC wars. Everyone’s always adamantly on one side or the other. The whole fanboy/hater thing is getting old. As old as Diane Keaton.