Monday, March 30, 2009

Are people who use Twitter Twits?

For those of you (hi Mom!) who may be unfamiliar with Twitter, the hot microblogging tool/service, here is the official definition from the Twitter website: "Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick [140 characters or less], frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?"

(Whatever happened to just picking up the phone?)

(Btw, I find it interesting that Twitter was unable to describe what it does in 140 characters yet expects others to describe what they are doing in that small space.)

But you want to know what Twitter really is? (I'm so glad you asked!) Twitter is a service for narcissists, the self-centered, and the self-absorbed, who feel it necessary to hyper-communicate their every move and connect with people of equal or (preferably) greater egos by broadcasting the answer to one simple question: Am I the most fascinating person ever or what?

Indeed, the beauty or genius of Twitter is not that it helps people connect with one another (which it indisputably does) but that it instantly confers upon the Twitterer, or, more appropriately, the Twit, a certain sense of self importance and celebrity.

Look at me!
says your Tweet. Or, more accurately, in Twitter parlance, Follow me! Why? Because I am so incredibly interesting and important -- so much so that reading an article about me or reading my blog or having a Fan page on Facebook just won't do. You need to know what I am doing and who I am doing it with NOW!

Okay, folks. I get that celebrities (and others) have a hyper-inflated sense of sense, but time to get real. Think about it: Is there anyone out there that fascinating or newsworthy (or, as my good friend, G., says, "all that and a bag of chips") who necessitates you (or others) knowing their every move, besides, perhaps, for the President of the United States and Stephen Colbert?

I think not. And if you do think so, you need to get a life -- your own, and not some celebrity's.

And speaking of celebrities (and I use the term loosely), while there are many glitterati who actually use the service, many others, the folks who put the Twit in Twitter, aren't actually using Twitter, though you may think they are.

And you want to know why the likes of 50 Cent and Britney (and many others) can't be bothered to take 30 seconds to type a 140 character or less message to their followers (the new lingo for fans)? (Okay, I'm guessing most of you reading this don't give a hoot what 50 Cent or Britney is doing or not doing, but stay with me here, folks.) They're too busy (or lame).

Got that? There are people out there who consider themselves too busy or important to send a 140-character message from a computer or PDA or mobile phone, but expect others will have the time and inclination to read whatever they Tweet multiple times a day. So what's a busy narcissist to do? Why hire a ghost Twitterer (or Twit) to do their Tweeting for them! (FYI, should any of you need a ghost Twitterer, I'm available. Tweet me. Oh wait...)

All sarcasm aside, I am sure that there are some good, work-related uses/benefits of Twitter. I just can't think of any that replace sending an instant messaging, texting, emailing, a blog post, or, yes, picking up a phone. But feel free to leave a comment and disagree with me if you think I'm wrong. Better yet, send me a Tweet. ; )


Moishie, defending Tweety said...

On behalf of all Tweeters: Tweety is, for the most part, a good-natured character happily spending life in his cage or a nest. However, when a cat or other adversary threatens him, he can become downright malicious and devious, even kicking his enemy when he's down.

Is that what you meant???

Lizzy said...

When Twitter first came out, I thought it was helpful - especially to hear from (or should I say about) my MIA friends - knowing what they are up to....every second of every day and night!!!!!!

Now Twitter is nothing but more electronic garbage to delete - "I just got out of bed." "Took a good pee." "Am playing basketball at the gym." WHO THE F CARES???????

And while it would be nice to think that celebrities really are "tweeting" us the inside scoop of their lives, even if they are - most of it is boring as well! So Ashton bought Demi a new ring? That's it? Ashton, give us the name of Demi's plastic surgeon! Or the real story of Bruce's marriage to the teenager!

The worst part of Twitter is the conversion of Newsfeed on FaceBook to a Twitter garbage can, with one person's "tweets" gunking up most of Newsfeed.

Keep Twitter separate from FB - we actually talk to one another on FB - as opposed to reading stream of consciousness, narcissistic ramblings of one-sided, self-absorbed "tweets."

TommyMac71 said...

As a Twit, as you say, I've used Twitter to:

1. Successfully promote my blog;
2. Share interesting articles about the public relations profession to others in the PR world
3. Build my brand by consistently communicating my activities, interests, and priorities.

But maybe I'm just self-important

Anonymous said...

I do not Tweet-have a life and barely have time to check into Facebook-sorry...

J. said...

Yes, that is what I meant, of course, Moishie. Thank you.
; )

And thank you, Lizzy for that dead-on comment.

Sounds like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed, this morning, Tommy. ; )

FYI, this post is not about YOU or those like you who strategically use Twitter for business PR purposes, Tommy. (Btw, did you forget the part about this being a SATIRICAL blog. ; )

And no reason to apologize, Anonymous. I used to have a life, years ago, but now I just have Facebook and this blog. You are fortunate!

Dave S. said...

Here are some more twits.

David said...

I thought that when the Twits are using Twitter, they were sending that not right?

J. said...

Just imagine if the Monty Python crew had had Twitter, Dave S.! Think of the fun and mayhem!

Re your comment, Dave, I believe that is what Stephen Colbert said. ; )

Anonymous said...

it is hilarious to read in your utterly self-centered and narcissistic blog that you find twitter ... what was that? self-centered? narcissistic?

twitter, like blogs or facebook or myspace or whatever social network what-have-you, is a catalyst for community formation. what makes twitter different is (1) the extreme ease by which it is set up and maintained, and (2) nearly seamless integration of computers and mobile phones as its base infrastructure. these two features have made twitter extremely popular.

by your own admission, you don't get it, so maybe you should just STFU instead of tossing rocks at twitter while enthroned in your aging and baroque blogglass house.

J. said...

Thanks for your excellent comment about Twitter and for reading the blog, Anonymous. Next time, though, have the courage to back up your words with a name.

Btw, this blog may be at times narcissistic and self-centered, but at least it isn't cowardly or cruel.

M2 said...

Thanks for the lunch time relief – I think blogs, by definition, are generally self centered and at times narcissistic :)

Now I’m barely on facebook, and just when I make the leap of faith to join some other networking thing that is probably outside the realm of my time constraints, along comes another one – I think I’m going to pass on twitter, and wait for the one after that -

Dave S. said...

Update: the answer to your post's title is Yes, if they're Republicans.

Soph said...

I really like this post.

Alot of my friends use twitter (twatter) and follow the 'celebs'.
I don't see the point, as if they don't spend enough time on Perez Hiltons website(Some guy who just stalks out the celebs and gives them loads of diss)!

However, i wouldn't go as far as saying they were "twits" at the end of the day, we all have blogs and i am going to assume facebook, which we like to have to give people and insight into our lives and we update our status',
is it not the same thing? minus the Celeb stalking?

Anonymous said...

Many people twits and buzz because they feel that they should express themselves with tweeting.