Twitter Twaddle


I am of two minds about Twitter. Neither of them good.

To bring you up to speed on Twitter, let’s go to Wikipedia which is just like an encyclopedia only it’s more democratic about so-called "facts".

Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends (delivery to everyone being the default).

To give you an example, there is this:

Audiences usually treat presidents to a round of polite applause, but when President Obama addressed House Republicans on Tuesday, they started Twittering.

Just a week after being inaugurated and becoming the most powerful man in the world, Obama strode into the Republican redoubt on Capitol Hill, whereupon its denizens started texting accounts of the proceedings into cyberspace.

There could be no clearer demonstration of the way politics has moved into an age in which technology trumps formality.

While Obama implored Republicans behind closed doors to consider supporting his economic stimulus bill, GOP thumbs worked overtime, tapping updates onto the microblogging website for thousands to read.

“Impressive,” Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) remarked, before noting that everyone in the room — Obama and Republicans included — expressed “deep concern about unemployment.”

“There’s real desire in this room to figure a way back to prosperity,” Inglis wrote on his Twitter page.

Others were quick to point out the sharp differences on the stimulus package.

Obama had “not much luck [because] we know tax cuts [equal] better and quicker,” Tweeted Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), one of the most frequent Twitter and new-media users in the House.

I tend to think that Twitter comments fall somewhere between tweens texting their friends from the mall (ZOMG! wet seal haz sale!!1!) and college freshmen notations (this is true!) in the margins of Beyond Good and Evil . The inevitable problem with ‘twittering’ is that its very nature encourages a fatal combination of immediacy and impulsiveness, and that way lies banalities by the bushel. Even the sharpest writer and deepest thinker is capable of a "no duh"comment at any given moment, and while  it’s one thing to have feet of clay, it is quite another to have  thumbs of dull and then to advertise that fact on an RSS feed.

Beyond that, outside of spot coverage of a specific event, I find the idea that someone would subscribe to someone’s twitter feed to be kind of creepy if not stalker-ish. Just because someone offers you something (like showing you pictures from their vacation or bris) there is no reason why you couldn’t or shouldn’t  take a raincheck. Time spent hanging onto someone else’s every utterance could be better spent tending to your own garden. Honestly, no one is that fascinating and you’d be surprised where a little personal private reflection might take you.

And please don’t twitter about it. We’re awfully busy doing something horribly private here, okay?

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....