As a writer, I guess I should have seen it coming. In recent years, we’ve all been learning how to do a new version of The Limbo Rock as we try to fit our written communication into the latest portable gadgets. This led to the popularity of cell phone text messaging, which led to the creation of Twitter, who has now formally lowered the writing limbo stick to a mere 140 characters.
Many people think this a wonderful new idea and appear to be having lots of fun with it but I’m struggling. Maybe I’m just not limber enough, but here are a few issues I have with Twitter.
Celebrity Interference. Who cares if celebrities are on Twitter? I don’t want celebrities to tweet. I want someone else to tell me what my favorite celebrity is doing. And I want them to include unsubstantiated rumors and innuendo. Otherwise what’s the point? I mean, it’s about gossip, people, not the truth! Besides, if Twitter is going to have any value at all to peons like me, it’s in the idea that it will make me feel famous. I want to be able to tweet and pretend hundreds, no thousands, of people all over the world care that I just took a shower and checked the status of my butt size in the mirror. Celebrities only get in my way.
Losing Your Lunch. Twitter makes it too easy to network and market to others without actually having to meet for lunch. It’s just too easy to eat by myself and then tweet my stomach contents. Oh sure, it’s nice not to have to discover that a new follower talks with his mouth full of food and it’s nice not to risk going to the restroom and walking out with toilet paper on my shoe. But what about the other important parts of such networking? You know, like persuading a contact to have one too many glasses of wine so I can find out inside company information before I bid on that project.
Big Butts. Sure, twittering all day sounds like I’m being quite active, but one look at my butt tells me this is not the case. Oh, hold on a minute, someone just tweeted that if my butt’s getting too big, then I should definitely follow @Bertha’s tweets to learn how to fix that problem.
No Blissful Ignorance. Since Twitter, everyone desperately wants to be the person who passes on the latest information, even if the news is bad. This is truly a strange turn of events because in the old days, they used to shoot the messenger. Personally, I don’t need to be the first one to hear bad news so I can pass it on. I figure if it’s important, I’ll find out about it soon enough and if 12 to 24 hours is too late, then it’s certainly serious enough that I’d just rather not hear about it too soon anyway.
Quotable Quotes. Some rabid Twitter users seem to think that writing enough twitter updates will help them get so good at the short 140-character form that they will one day come up with a perfect pithy quote. They dream of this tweet going viral and spreading quicker than the H1N1 flu. But quotes are quotable because someone took the time to wonder, to think, and then gave their brain time to process it all. The quotes we enjoy are wonderful gems pulled out as a result of a lot of hard work and deep thinking. And you can quote me on that. And um, could you tweet it please?
Okay, so, Twitter can be a useful promotional and informational tool, but always remember your true focus is the actual content you create on your blog. I encourage you to first take the time necessary to create the most informative, entertaining and interesting blog posts possible. When you have accomplished that, then you’re ready to spend time seeing how low you can go under that Twitter limbo bar.