Twitter: A Lack of Communication

This is a rant that I just have to get off my chest.Twitter just doesn’t provide any meaningful communication and I can’t understand the appeal. Imagine a newspaper consisting of just the headlines or a magazine containing only the article titles – that is essentially Twitter.

It’s just extraordinarily shallow noise. That has a natural appeal for me since I’m about the shallowest person on the planet. But it’s something I continuously strive to improve. One of the many reasons for starting this very blog is to practice forming cogent organized discourse to back up opinions or provide an interpretation of a piece of art. Twitter offends me because it trivializes the rest of the process, developing and communicating that additional information.

Aside from the obviously pointless stuff – “Just left coffee shop. Heading to work.” – the rest are essentially teaser headlines. You know those scrolling headlines that appear at the bottoms of television news shows nowadays? “Plane crashes into mountain. All dead.” Egad! Where? When? What airline? Who was on board?  “Stocks rise/fall 273 points today.” How come? What inspired/spooked the traders today? Will the trend continue? “Earthquake in Reallyreallybad flattens city” – ok, that one is kind of self explanatory. It’s like they’ve taken the five “W"s of journalism and story telling and thrown them out the window. Twitter is pretty much the same thing.

Let’s pick on celebrities and consider the response of other celebrities. Say we learn that someone famous has died. The tweeted responses from other famous people essentially all boil down to “That makes me sad.” It probably should, but why did it affect you. Will you miss the heart-to-heart conversations you had? Will you be lonely because they don’t spend time with you anymore. Will you miss the new music/movies/games that they will not create to provide a few minutes of diversion in your otherwise empty life?

Are the tweeters too time-crunched/lazy/inarticulate to provide any further explanation? Putting up a blog is about the easiest thing in the world nowadays. If you’re currently on the “who’s hot” list, pouring out your heart to a reporter is even easier if you can tolerate the misquotes. Of course, you probably need to pass it by your publicists and lawyers just to make sure you don’t step in it due to some unfortunate phrasing.

And one of the worst things is that these tweets get passed on by “news” outlets as some significant commentary.

Drives me freaking crazy!