For the 10 people who still don’t know what Twitter is (Hi, Mom!), it’s a free social networking service that allows users to send and read other people’s updates known as “tweets” by either going to a website or by using the text messaging option on their phones. Twitter only allows up to 140 characters per message but most “tweets” aren’t longer than a few words such as “It’s hot today!” or “I saw a blimp!” and are about as exciting as staring at an empty aquarium.
Now, thanks to Twitter and other services such as Google satellite maps, tracking someone else’s movement has never been easier, which is great news if you’re a stalker or a serial killer. And call me old-fashioned but knowing exactly what a total stranger is up to 24 hours a day kind of takes the “sport” out of kidnapping and attempted murder.
I have nothing against new technology, and it’s not that I secretly hope that Twitter is giving everyone thumb cancer. (OK, so maybe I do.) It’s just that nobody is so interesting that I need hourly progress reports about every pickin‘ little thing.
I’m pretty sure I could go my entire day without reading that a guy I haven’t seen since 1991 thought the season finale of Lost was “off the hizzy.”
And I find it strange that just because it’s sent in a text message, it’s somehow OK to repeatedly broadcast pointless stupid incomplete sentences. If someone you barely knew was constantly tapping you on the shoulder and saying things like “Hooray cookies!” or “Arghh Mondays!” you’d think they were retarded, or at the very least Cathy from that squiggly comic strip.
But somehow putting a “:)” after it makes it seem both playful and endearing? Um, I don’t think so.
Hey doofus, nobody cares that you ate a Popsicle for breakfast or that you’re considering going to the beach this weekend. Instead of sending you a tweet, I’d rather just throw my cell phone at your head. Maybe then you could figure out my “status update.”
I thought technology was supposed to make life easier. So why would I want to waste my free time hearing every single inane thing that happened during the course of someone’s day? Many of us already have to do that. It’s called marriage.
I remember when e-mail became popular. The first thing I realized was just how illiterate all of my friends were. Most of them couldn’t string two sentences together.
“Look Billy, I realize we were best friends until you moved out of town in the third grade. I just assumed you’d enroll in another school and eventually learn how to spell words like ‘coincidence’ and ‘restaurant.’”
There’s a reason you don’t hang out with your friends every second of every day, mainly because after a few hours everyone everywhere becomes boring. The idea is to not see or hear from people for a while until they become interesting again.
Why would I want to read Twitter updates? I can barely make it all the way through a birthday card. Most of the time I just look at the cartoon picture, count three seconds, open it and laugh. The inside of the card could read, “You are the Antichrist!” and I’d have no idea. I’d just give them a hug and offer up a piece of Fudgie the Whale ice cream cake.
Twitter will run its course, just like AOL, MySpace and Facebook did before it. And people will continue to ignore your tweets, then lie and say they read them. Because the truth is we’re all so caught up in ourselves that nobody is paying attention to what anybody else says or does . . . You still with me?
I know that sounds harsh, so here’s another happy face to make it seem both playful and endearing.
Contact Jeff Girod at firstname.lastname@example.org