It’s genuinely insidious. Barely a day goes by without a further example of a misguided attempt to bend Twitter to a purpose for which it is clearly unsuited. In fact it isn’t actually suited to anything except self-promotion by a few deluded individuals – sorry, influential socmed evangelistas – now I come to think about it. What is it about Twitter that makes people think it’s some kind of digital messiah? I think it’s possessed of some sort of electronic voodoo and is turning otherwise sane people into the living braindead. It seems to be well suited to people living in the ‘Bay Area’ (wherever the hell that is, but it sounds deeply troubling) who appear to have an all-encompassing desire to tell people about their tall, decaff, skinny, soya lattes and the new to-die-for herbal muffin at Pratt’s Deli, but other than that, it’s pointless mojambo. Oh yes it is.
Anyway, there’s a few recent examples which I will list here, in the hope that, by listing them, I can break some small part of the Twittery spell. If just one Twitterator reads it, stands back, and says (a eureka moment): “I see it all now! What a fool I’ve been! It’s crap!” (oh yes it is), Then I will feel justified. So:
Why did the BBC feel the need to broadcast live coverage of the Chilcott enquiry on the telly, and split the screen to feature live tweets from the self-same enquiry? This is so wrong on so many different levels – not least of which is I’m watching it on TV, I really don’t need someone giving me 140 character commentary on what I’m watching. Especially when that commentary was along the lines of ‘Tony Blair is looking visibly shaky’. I know, you f*ckwits, I can SEE it.
Twitter from space – big noise about how the astronauts on whatever cosmic caravan is currently spinning happily along the Earth orbital are tweeting about their tasks. Well, they clearly aren’t fulfilling one of Twitter’s major ‘selling points’ (what are you doing now) because a) there’s little or no mobile device network coverage in space and b) even the iPhone is difficult to manipulate when you’re wearing a spacesuit.
Olympic Twitter – apparently (here’s a random piece from a Google search I did) there are athletes at the Winter Olympics twittering. For those people with such a small amount of life that they’re following competitors in a winter sports event. And again, it’s not really of much real use – is it – because it’s not about what they are doing now. No downhill skier is going to be tweeting his experiences as he hurtles down a mountainside, barely in control, at 90-odd miles per hour.
So, there you have it. Three examples of totally superfluous Twitter use. It is the answer to the question that no-one asked. It is a tool for the horrifically self-important and the sadly less than self-worthy. It is shallow and superficial. Unfortunately, even athletes, TV producers and astronauts have ego and validity issues – and Twitter just feeds off them.
That’s why it’s called a Twitter ‘feed’. It’s like a tapeworm of the soul.