I Twittered for a while but now, not so much. Why? Here is the smaller of two elephants that quickly sprawled themselves across my living room. I quote an article from Helen Popkin, in her article Twitter Nation, way back in 2007:
“Why do we think we’re so important that we believe other people want to know about what we’re having for lunch, how bored we are at work or the state of inebriation we happen to be at this very moment in time? How did society get to the point that we are constantly improving technology so that this non-news can reach others even faster than a cell phone, a text message, a blog, our Facebook profiles?”
She’s right, of course, and I’ll add this to the sour soup: Worse than annoying are the endless, seamy platitudes/quotes about how I should live. They add insult to the injury of wasting my time.
But this irrelevant waterfall of crap is just the small elephant. Here’s the coup-de-gras, enormous elephant: If someone is following 7,000 people, how in God’s name is that someone hearing more than 1% of what the 7,000 are saying?
So much being said. So little being heard. Echoes of Harry Nilsson.
So, for most, Twitter success is measured by sheer numbers of followers, not by content. The old Hollywood vision of an insane asylum comes to mind. Another: An interminable drunken bar-stool conversation that a sober observer could only describe as stupid.
Thanks to the two elephants, maybe Twitter is the best hard example of why we need to get out of our heads and stop assuming everyone cares about our personal inanities, or if they do care, that they even hear them. We westerners are too caught up with ourselves. It’s self-obsession, publicized.
Is Twitter a system I will continue to employ? Maybe. And if I do, I will never follow 7,000 and I will always assume that the few who follow me don’t give a damn what I had for lunch.