essays

They’re All A-Twitter

twitter birdIf you haven’t come across it yet, there’s a new internet social networking tool known as Twitter. Their slogan is “What are you doing?” And my rejoinder is “It’s none of your business.”

Suddenly the “whole world’s a-twitter” is what it says on their website, but maybe the world is just full of twits who need to tell you everything they are doing. "I am taking a bath now. I have a bad case of diarrhea. We were going to have sex but Hank can’t maintain an erection.  Julie and I were going to have dinner out but she says she’s all gassy."

You are limited to 140 characters in your message so you can’t get all literary with it. Would William Faulkner or Truman Capote be Twitter fans if they were still alive? Maybe Capote, but Faulkner? Never.

Twitter calls it being hyper-connected, but it seems to me that it’s another case of TMI – too much information. The funniest claim they make is “Twitter puts you in control and becomes a modern antidote to information overload.” The only control you have is to shut the damn thing off so that you don’t have to witness the constant stream of useless information being beamed at you every time you log on to your computer. twitter whaleIt’s not an antidote to overload, it is the overload!

One of their endorsements reads as follows: "If you aren't familiar with Twitter, it is one of those things, like MySpace, that sounds totally ridiculous and stupid when you first hear about it. But once you start using it, you realize how much fun it is." That constitutes an endorsement? It’s fun to know exactly what your friends are up to every minute of the day? You can be sure their constant stream of "tweets" will hold you spellbound.

The big knock on baby boomers has always been how self-centered we are, but I would have to say that anyone who needs to tell everyone else what they are doing all day, every day, has a lot more ego issues than boomers ever had.

I get that Twitter wasn’t targeted to boomers, but that doesn’t calm my fears that twenty-somethings are spending their days all a-twitter. I want them out there working hard to pay for my social security, not twittering away their days. You think America is going to continue to be the world leader in worker productivity with gimmicks like Twitter nibbling away at our best workers? I don’t think so.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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