Wednesday, March 04, 2009


From Tom Tomorrow over at This Modern World:

This is what I genuinely don’t understand: Norah O’Donnell spends her life in front of cameras, broadcasting to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. Why in god’s name is it important to her to send out “tweets” to an additonal 1,509 voyeurs?

And why do any of those people care that at 3:04 p.m. on Wednesday she is “Heading upstairs to the studio.” Seriously — why in god’s name would anyone care what anyone is doing to that degree of minute specificity?

For awhile I thought it might be fun to start sending out tweets every few minutes, about my most banal activities. Brushed my teeth! Took a shit! Checked my email! Sending out a tweet! Except that seems to be pretty much what people are actually doing. Satire has to surpass reality, not simply reflect it.

More here.

Right. I'm afraid I just don't get what Twitter is about. I mean okay, obviously there's some kind of novelty appeal--I was doing Facebook for a while there back when I was at LSU, and the whole sense of meaningless chatter from dozens of cyberspace "friends" was kind of fun, I must admit, but I ultimately got tired of it and quit. But I can't get past the notion that this is something of a technological dead end, a fad without any real substance or use, something nobody will really give a shit about five years down the road. I could be wrong, of course. It's entirely possible that some braniac will eventually figure out some really cool use for the software that nobody has even imagined yet. Maybe an airliner will be trapped deep underwater in the Atlantic and Twitter is the only way they can communicate with Coast Guard rescuers. Or maybe it will be the means by which surgeons in Houston talk a nurse in the Antarctic through emergency brain surgery on Admiral Peary or somesuch. Or maybe Twitter will be the inspiration for a new generation of poets who only write really really short poems.

But really, it's probably just another meaningless fad. Like AOL was.