Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's official: Twitter is stupid

After years of anecdotal research, I've developed my theory into solid fact and am ready to share it with @you: #twitter is stupid.

I get the concept of microblogging.  I believe in it.  I participate in several times daily myself, through Facebook.  (Which isn't to say I believe in everything Facebook does...)

I think it's wonderful to keep in touch with acquaintances who would have faded out of my life, and often turn these very loose connections into genuine electronic friends, who I then get together with whenever geographical challenges allow.  Some acquaintances from years past have resurfaced via my friend's friends lists on Facebook, and we know each other better now via electronic means than we ever did in "real" life.  I've never bought into the idea that face-to-face communication = real, electronic communication = fake .  You often see sides to people on Facebook that you didn't see when they were wearing a different mask when you hung out with them in real life.

It's great to be part of a bigger community of people, and stay in touch with what is going on in their lives.  This is true even when they're not someone I know in 3-D life... in several cases I've added someone to my friends list on Facebook whom I've never met, in fact have sometimes never even met electronically, and as long as they can construct a sentence, and aren't trying to "network" for moronic mogul-wannabe or religious reasons, I enjoy following their updates.  They become part of my community, even if they don't live next door or even in the same town.

I've concluded however that Twitter really doesn't offer that, despite the claim that it does.

I follow a lot of blogs, and lately many bloggers have been offering up their Twitter feed.  If it's a bright and interesting blogger, I go have a look.

What I inevitably find is a string of incomprehensible, uninteresting @replies they make to their 4756 followers or followed, who you can tell from the meaninglessness and randomness, aren't people they know either electronically or in real life.

There's no point in this.  This is not a community, this is not a useful addition to the real and well-crafted thoughts they share on their blogs.  There's rarely anything bright or compelling on their feed, there is rarely anything original at all.  Twitter's own character limit doesn't allow for bright and compelling... it often doesn't allow for a single complete thought before you've gone over your alloted Tweet-space.

So, if you were feeling Flintstonian for not "getting" Twitter (hey, plug the words "I don't get" into Google, and it's #1 suggestion for what you are looking for is, you guessed it...), rest assured, it's not you.  It's Twitter.  There's just nothing there to get.  I've been checking back for years, there is nothing there but noise.  If there is the odd nugget, it's lost in the noise.

There's nothing Twitter does that other electronic forms of communication don't do better.


  1. Wow, I thought it was just me. Agree completely.

  2. Really? You think so? Yes, it's true, there's a lot of crap bouncing around. Truth be told - I sometimes take part.

    However, as an educational tool, its use is very powerful. In the beginning, blogs - even the internet - was vilified in the same way, but I think you'd agree it was a good move for the world.

    Wouldn't you?

    ...I just wrote a post about twitter on my social media/open learning site:; that's why your entry caught my eye (that, and the fact that I used to live in Qikiqtarjuaq). it was interesting to hear your point-of-view!


  3. Well, I've given it around 5 years, or however long it's been out there. I've been an early-ish adopter of internet (back when it was through freenet for us non-techies), blogs, and twitter itself. Twitter has never shown it's value to me, and I have kept an ear to the ground in case it was me not getting it; if there was some redeeming value in it it would have been pointed out to me by now, or I would have seen it explained somewhere online or in the media. I'm still open to that happening, but until I see some evidence, I have to conclude that it just doesn't offer the value that things like blogs and the internet at large can. It's just so devoid of content, and what is there is buried in meaningless, shallow noise.

  4. I haven't twatted either. I post on Facebook, so Twitter seems redundant to me. I can see some potential as an art form though, like Haiku. Often putting restrictions, such as a 140 character limit, can channel inspiration.