Tuesday, August 4, 2009
For those of you who don’t know, Twitter is a site that offers users a chance to update their personal status with a one sentence “tweet” explaining what they are doing. (Note: Twitter is a catchy name, why the hell would they screw up their entire brand by not even conjugating their own words correctly. Why is it called tweeting? The site is Twitter. Shouldn’t that be called twitting? Or shouldn’t the site have been called Tweeter? And the obvious: a user of Twitter is a Twit.)
I just don’t get why anyone would care what I am doing right now? I certainly don’t care what you are doing right now. It would in no way help me stay connected to people. I have face book, blogging, email, texting, and good old fashion face interaction for that. I can stay connected to people and actually gaining real information from other sources. Twitter gives me absolutely nothing but a (typically self-promoting) snippet of a person, which is fine if it is accompanied by, say, something useful like a chat feature (gchat status) or by a wealth of personal information (facebook status). But now, Twitter leaves me with nothing.
The Evil Media likes to claim that news can be proclaimed instantly with Twitter. Part of why I hate twitter because of it’s users. I don’t want to get my news from the creepy guy down the street. I don’t want to get my news from some 16 year old drama-queen. I don’t want to get my news from anyone other then a trained professional, or an actual friend whom I trust.
People so desperately want Twitter to be the next "it" thing. They want to be able to jump on the bandwagon and be hip to the next online feature that everyone will use. They want something that will provide cooler talk and up their social prowess. They want something that they can integrate into their job; something that they can impress their boss with. It seems Twitter is the answer, after all the media is shoving it down our throats (but really, it is for the same reasons individuals have put our hopes and dreams into Twitter, the mass media has grabbed onto Twitter).
Others say that “everyone is doing it”… no, no, no. Everyone signed up to find out what all the hoopla was about, and most intelligent people realized it was a façade. A Harvard Business School professor reported in June of 2009 that 10 percent of the service's users account for more than 90 percent of tweets. Current Nielsen research states that 60 percent of Twitter users do not return from one month to the next.
Let me set the record straight: Twitter is not worth it. Twitter is not a phenomenon. Twitter is a (bad) fad. Twitter is useless. Twitter is a microcosm of other, more popular/useful online tools. Twitter provides nothing more then cheap information; a sliver of the public whole. Nothing is insightful. Nothing is exciting. Twitter is the red-headed step child of Myspace (a now graveyard in social networking).
We were handed a huge innovation called The Internet (dun, dun, dun) in our lifetime that revolutionized we the way we live. It provided us with exactly what we never knew we wanted. After the internet bubble burst, we have been given short bursts of useful technology along the way: online banking, facebook, gmail, etc. These tools are not only fun and novel, they actually help us. As spoiled information-agers we continually are expecting the next breakthrough. That breakthrough is not Twitter.
I leave you with a quote from Kayne West (and if this guy can figure it out, then I have hope you will too) “Why would I use twitter? Everything that twitter offers I need less of.”
Afterthought: I would like to offer up a suggestion of a useful innovative idea of technology that would help everyone: voice to text. I need to text while driving. I would like to text you back, but sometimes I am just that lazy and can't be bothered by it. Talk to Text is the answer. Press a button. Talk your text, phone conversion and you hit send. Someone please, for the love, invent that.