June 23, 2009 Leave a comment
If you pay any attention to gossip, you probably know that Perez Hilton was punched out by Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas. Immediately afterward, Hilton grabbed his cell phone and did the sensible thing one would do when needing help.
He updated his Twitter feed.
Instead of calling 911, he enlisted a million of his Twitter followers and did the Web 2.0 version of “Oooh, I’m telling!”
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I had a Twitter account for a month or so and ended up deleting it. For one, too many updates seemed to follow the pattern of “I’m awake”-“I had breakfast”-“I’m at work”-“I’m at lunch”-“I’m home”. Now multiply that by forty or fifty people you follow. There was a point where I was so completely in tune with who was eating which meal when that I considered a career as a nutritionist.
And second, it felt like work. If I hadn’t updated it in eight or nine hours, I felt like I was letting someone down. It’s almost like it demands you post your banality to the world. One of your followers could be sitting there waiting breathlessly to find out what you’re watching on TV at THAT VERY MOMENT. It became a chore, something to be done because you felt like you had to justify having the damn thing.
And the 140 character limit keeps you from having any kind of context whatsoever. Unless you resort to leet speak, which sort of undermines any profundity you may have been offering up. “I thnk thr4 I am” loses something in the translation.
I think Twitter can be a useful tool — the recent events in Iran demonstrate that. But let’s not confuse “Hey, I’m on a ferry picking up people from a plane in the Hudson” for some kind of world-shattering relevance. It’s pure exhibitionism, “Hey look at me” for the 21st century. Too often it’s not about the message, but the messenger.
And dammit, that’s what blogs are for.