Let me start by saying that as a concept, I love Twitter. It has proven hugely effective in terms of marketing, highlighting important issues, spreading the details of an event, or just for sharing ideas. I love it as a means of conveying humour and providing instant satire on current events. It even allowed for a mild protest in the form of the Twitter Joke Trial / #IAmSpartacus tag, which I think is absolutely brilliant and essential in today’s hyper restrictive world. It’s a powerful tool and it can make or break someone within minutes.
Yet despite all that there are times when I cannot stand the thought of it. Despite all its potential, it can be the purest form of trite I have ever seen. Twitter has become its very own little version of the internet, where you can most probably find something on anything, if only you could sift through all the banality and rubbish. It’s like everyone banded together and decided to tell each other everything. But nobody asked.
The chances are that if you had a different cereal today than yesterday, unless you’re on a very strict diet and your dietician follows you, or it was in fact the greatest cereal you have ever tasted and you simply must tell people to go out and try it because you believe it will better humanity, the world just doesn’t need to know. On the bus? That’s nice… going somewhere special? Oh, you didn’t say, just that you were on the bus. I see. Thanks.
Now of course I am a massive hypocrite for writing this because I have in fact tweeted banal things about myself. I don’t think it is unfair for me to say that I mostly try to tweet about things I’ve seen and which I think are worth highlighting to people, but I won’t try to suggest I’ve never tweeted anything dull about myself which was frankly unnecessary. I therefore hold my hands up to my hypocrisy and say I shall do it no more. Seriously. I deleted my account.
Followers are the new ‘friends list’ it seems: the more followers you have the greater your Twit-cred perhaps. Except it’s even less exclusive and people will follow you just so you will follow them. But how could anyone possibly want to read the tweets of say 300 accounts (which I understand not to be an excessive number)? Is the argument that you’re not supposed to read everything tweeted by everyone? That it’s just a snapshot of the lives of the people you follow at a particular moment? If so, surely this is further reason not to post humdrum things about what colour mug you’re currently drinking tea from? Or is it coffee?! Oooohhhhh… Surely tweets are meant to be noticeable? If not, if they’re just supposed to be a moment in time, then what’s the point in them at all? Are we all so desperate to break out of our routine, everyday lives that we need to convince ourselves that drinking out of the blue mug this morning was worth telling the world about? That the fact that we can shout out to the world whatever and whenever we like somehow changes our lives and makes them more exciting? Is our culture now so obsessed with fame and celebrity that we all want to believe that the meaningless minutae is worth sharing, and that it will be hungrily lapped up by our followers? I could list a few people in this world I would love to know more about. I would love to hear about their lives, experiences, opinions and to hear their advice. But even for these people, I couldn’t give a toss what colour socks they wore yesterday.
I still think Twitter is a great idea and I don’t want to be a complete killjoy, but I think it’s being spoilt by this desire to be recognised and acknowledged for absolutely anything, no matter how small. People may disagree and that’s fine, but in my opinion the fact that you’ve got a cup of coffee in your hand is simply not worth telling anyone, let alone taking the time over actually typing it out for the world to see. It goes back to my first post about validation. Yes it’s nice to be recognised, but isn’t it so much better when it’s for something worthwhile?