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Mike Redmond Column

Please refer to the Mike Redmond Column main page for columns published in other issues.
Mike can be contacted via e-mail at mike@mikeredmondonline.com.

 

 

 

 Set Cruise Control and Twitter Away a Day

No, I do not Tweet. Neither do I chirp, peep, warble or make any other small-bird noises, for that matter.

Tweeting, for those of you who aren’t up-to-the-minute hipsters like me, is the latest fad – I mean, development in our never-ending effort to use better and faster technology to say nothing of importance.

Tweeting is done through a program called Twitter, which sounds to me less like something I would want to use, and more like the name of a woodland creature from a Disney cartoon.

According to the Twitter website (www.twitter.com), it’s “a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

I guess that’s why I’m not a good candidate to be a Tweeter. My customary response to that question is “None of your business.”

But wait, says the website. Twitter could be valuable in case you:

* Wanted to tell mom you’re eating soup. Yep. Chicken noodle, Mom. You can stop worrying now.

* Wanted to tell someone you’re late for a meeting. Because they probably couldn’t figure it out by themselves, sitting there, waiting for you. as the appointed hour passes.

* Are partying and want your friends to join you. Although if they’re such good friends, how come you’re partying without them in the first place?

From what I can see of Twitter, it is now occupying the place in the communications pantheon once held by cell phones, when that technology was new. In other words, people are using it to issue such fascinating tidbits as “Guess where I am? I’m in the grocery store. Aisle 7. Pasta and dried beans.”

How about these actual examples of vital communication, lifted from Twitter itself:

* Eating lunch...yummy grilled chicken with veggies!

* Were Fergie's Jonas Shoes inspired by the Jonas Brothers?

* at school doing nothing :)

* I think I have the swine flu.

* Good riddens Arlen Specter. (Her spelling, not mine.)

* I love Post-Its!

I’m sorry. Did I say vital? Banal. I meant banal.

So what accounts for Twitter’s explosive popularity?

I think part if it could be simply that it reflects the world today, a world in which everybody has something to share with the rest of us whether we want it or not. Lots of people are talking. Not so many are listening, and therein lies a problem: If everyone is a commentator, who’s left to be the audience?

It also could be that we humans have just become so unapologetically stupid and shallow that we think Tweets are real communication. I know, harsh. But YOU spend a day sorting through this rubbish and see if you don’t come to the same conclusion.

I am not all a-Twitter about Twitter. I know certain big-time media outlets are Twittering like mad these days, in hoping to attract young people to their products. It looks to me like the media equivalent of a middle-aged man hoping to impress the young ladies by walking down the beach with his stomach sucked in.

That leads us to the observation the most avid Twitterers are, in fact, young people. Twitter is most certainly their domain, and I say them have it.

After all, they had to go somewhere when the Baby Boomers® took over Facebook.

 

 

 

© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.