Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Twitter "Revolution"

There seems to be a lot of noise lately about something loosely termed the Twitter Revolution. We got to see some of it in Pres Obama's address to Congress. I do not Twitter, nor do I "follow" any one's Twitter - in fact I couldn't be much less interested in participation. I enjoy writing and I enjoy reading good writing; and I even offer you some out of they way opportunities in the sidebar Blogroll.

I started to live blog Pres Obama's address and discovered rather quickly that I am neither a stenographer nor am I capable of composing and listening at the same time. I said composing, I didn't say producing inanities. A couple examples of the production values emerged after the speech. Newt our favorite slimy lizard referred to the speech as a State of the Union speech, which he full well knew it was not. Then you have "rather than watch Pelosi smirk," kind of thing followed by an ignore staffer stupidity. Chances are neither would have made such public statements with a quick re-reading. Instantaneous stupidity doesn't have much trump value over considered stupidity, and neither is real desirable.

The written word is actually a method of communication quite capable of surpassing the spoken word, it has at its disposal many tools of expression that are unavailable to the voice. It is also quite capable of utter stupidity and irrelevance. Writing in 140 character snippets of thought is a virtual guarantee that something intelligently composed is not going to happen. Now, if it is somehow important to your life to know that someone is having a bagel wouldn't you really prefer a literary expression of the joy of said bagel as opposed to 'I just had a bagel?' Why would I give a damn? Do you care that I just scratched my head?

If politicians think this is going to make a damn bit of difference in the national dialogue, they're awful optimistic. I understand Sen McCaskel is quite prolific and 'good' at this sort thing. OK, who is going to read it other than people who already think she's cool. Oppo research springs to mind. What I see happening with this is all the 'good' stuff doing nothing and an 'oops' haunting them for a very long time. I think the chances of 'oops' have already demonstrated their probability.

If you do this stuff that's fine, but in my life it will have all the meaning of the meaning within its name, Twittering. Some people like canaries, I find them in short order to be a source of random annoying noise. As a Revolution I'd rank this somewhere below 1960s bell bottom pants.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I am definitely with you on this one, Chuck. I don't find Twitter relevant or interesting. Hooray for those who do, I guess. To each his own. But I just find it rather boring and utterly unnecessary.

Unlike Facebook or YouTube or MySpace, I just don't see Twitter filling a niche. It's a fad, nothing more. I really don't expect it to stick around even over the medium term. Some other shiny new fad will come along and everyone will move on. Meanwhile, I expect to see YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, et al, around for the foreseeable future because they fill niches that needed filling.