I'm sure that I'm not the only person who's getting thoroughly sick of both the hype and churnalism surrounding Twitter, or more appropriately, Twatter. The latest is that 40% of the messages sent on it are "pointless babble". Shurely shome mishtake? Shouldn't that be 99.9%? You also know that when the government appoints a "Twatter tsar", to go with all the other inexplicable tsars it seems insistent on appointing, the other one being Arlene Phillips as a "dancing tsar", that its demise hopefully won't be that far in the future.
David Cameron, for once, wasn't too far wrong in his view that too many twits might end up making a twat. I can see the point of the likes of Facebook, despite not using it, and do have a MySpace account although again I never use it, they're just not really for me, mainly because I prefer to operate under something of a semi-anonymous shroud. Twitter though, with the exception of when it is clearly put to good use, such as when instant updates are necessary such as on breaking news, reporting on protests and organising around them, seems to be beyond pointless; it's a glorified instant messaging service where every stalker and sad sack can follow your ever so fascinating immediate thoughts on what your sandwich tastes like, what it's like being stuck in a lift, and why the NHS is brilliant. Obviously, accusations of hypocrisy can be levelled against a blogger for criticising such "micro-blogging", and some bloggers do indeed do little more than those on Twitter do, but I'd like to think for the most part I put more thought into what I write here than many do with their numerous updates throughout the day (although blogging has been deliberately lighter this month).
Then there's just the wishful thinking, such as Sunny's that Twitter challenges right-wing dominance online. This would be amusing if it wasn't so tragic. If the NHS couldn't find enough people who could relate their own experiences of its service in a supportive fashion then Daniel Hannan would be more than right in calling it a sixty-year old mistake. Those doing so are clearly apolitical; they support the NHS, not the political arguments behind it. The entire hype behind online political campaigning has got all out of proportion to its actual value and use: there has been no indication whatsoever that the success of campaigns in the US can be translated to this country. Indeed, repeated attempts by the Conservatives to do so have failed abjectly, from their "Tosser" campaign to more recent calls for donations, whatever their size, appropriating from last year's US campaigns. If the Tories, the main players online as we are forced to admit can't do it, how can anyone?
Twitter provides what the other social networking sites do: circle jerks, where like-minded people share like-minded things, all while stroking their egos. Again, I'm not going to pretend I'm also not guilty of this, but Twitter just exacerbates the problems inherent in blogging. It is essentially meaningless, not even giving extra quality to real life relationships like Facebook does. Doubtless I'm about to be flayed alive in the comments, but once again the hype and the defences of it simply fail to live up to the reality.
Labels: bloggocks, bullshit, new media, new media bollocks, politics, social networking websites, Twitter