Twitter

“The more we have [pride] ourselves, the more we dislike it in others…if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, ‘How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronize me, or show off?’”

— C. S. Lewis

I don’t like the idea of Twitter.

Brief Facebook history:

When I first got a Facebook account (June 2004, back when there were about 15 schools on it — the Ivies, UChicago, Stanford, Cal/UCLA/UCSD, etc., and it was actually http://www.thefacebook.com), there was a box for an “Away” message.  This box was left unused by pretty much everybody.  (I, personally, had no idea what they were going for — to me, “Away” messages were the things you used on AIM when you weren’t at your computer, or thankfully, when technology advanced enough that you WERE at your computer but you didn’t want to talk to have the people on your friend list.)  Therefore, facebook eliminated the Away message.

A couple of years ago (?), Facebook brought back the “Away” message, but renamed it “Status” and actually prompted you: “What are you doing right now?”  This, obviously, has been much more successful.  Finally, about a year ago (?), Facebook changed users’ home pages so that it’s essentially a constant update of peoples’ statuses, profile changes, relationships, What Ethnicity Should you be Dating?, etc.

Now, of course, Twitter has grown increasingly popular in the past six months or so, and I just don’t quite get it.  All this is is a website completely devoted to Status updates (quite frankly, my LEAST favorite part of Facebook, and I suspect others’, as well), which to me just seems like a cyber temple to narcissism.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard is something along the lines of “Nobody likes a bore, and nobody cares about your life’s minutiae as much as you do.”  With the exception of people everywhere crushing on someone like Helga once crushed on Arnold (gum shrine and all), we really just don’t care about when any given person took a crap, showered, what classes they’re struggling in, whom they hate at work, the shine factor of their hair, etc.  For me, “following” people on Twitter would be the ultimate exercise in masochism.

That said, I know I’m being a bit of a hypocrite right now in that a) I obviously have a blog and b) I do post a Facebook status message fairly often, probably about twice a week.  However, a couple of months ago I mentally resolved to avoid Statusing whenever possible, and most of the time that I slip up, I go back and delete them pretty quickly.

Now that I’ve whined about Twitter a lot, let me proclaim to the world that it does have its uses: I think it’s a genius marketing tool.  (I also think that it’s quite possible that people who choose to follow Coca Cola or something are corporate, consumerist suckers, but again, how many corporate email lists am I on?)  I’ve briefly considered starting a Twitter for work, but until I see that more teenagers use it, I probably won’t bother.

Ideas on Twitter?

And no, I’m not oblivious to the fact that me having a blog, and especially being so presumptuous as to assume you may care about what I have to say about Twitter, basically flags me, too, as a complete narcissist.

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