Ok, here we go…..Let’s warm up a little. We both are new here right. Let’s start with the time when the sky was blue….blue as in , which blue am i referring to here!! Well….ummmm…. twitter blue !! Yeah, did you get that right? Of course you have. Who doesn’t know the Twitter, the infernal social networking site that has helped countries mount revolutions….it breaks the news even before it is even “news”, like “Rani is married“…. “Narendra Modi is batman” and engage communities in immediate, real time discussion about those events.
Well, Twitter is big-time “hot” and we all know that. With Twitter, we can collectively judge and ogle the dresses on the red carpet, laugh or moan at late-night monologue jokes, and debate with others about Roger Ferderer’s retirement plans. And maybe, it’s because Twitter is just so damned awesome, fashionably current and in the now that I feel it is out of my league.
I know, I know. That’s a dodge. Well, i’m going first-person here because this is a personal rant. Personally, i hate Twitter. Personally i just don’t get Twitter. Of course i have a Twitter account and i try to practice good twitter etiquette. If someone follows me, I’ll follow them back. I will also send them a direct message, thanking them for the follow and asking what they do. More often than not, I get no response. I then get inundated with meaningless dribble; these folks delight in posting updates every few minutes all day long. Don’t they have lives?
There used to be this wonderful thing called e-mail where people could communicate in writing, and it was possible to receive and send messages in one place and through one interface. These days, people can contact me on Facebook (both on my “wall” and via Facebook’s messaging client) or on Twitter (through both Tweets and private messages), among many other options. I hate that. Just e-mail me. Seriously. I hate breathless e-mails or even voice mails about whether I got someone’s message on Twitter or, even worse, saw someone’s Tweet. All these might have been exciting in junior high, but it’s not such a thrill now.
Companies are also into Twitter big time. I can’t think of any product that is so exciting and fun that I’d want constant updates about it. Sure I love all things related to fitness and fashion but I don’t want to read what my favourite designer had for breakfast.
Then the whole concept of limiting Tweets to 140 characters is obnoxious. I think its actually killing the English language? English is a beautiful and complex language… maybe someday even I’ll learn to use it beautifully…..but our quick-hit communication culture is turning the language of Shakespeare (as the French call it) into a bunch of random symbols. There are too many weird symbols and abbreviations in Tweets. Something like ‘arunimadutta78 hates #Twitter #rant #moron’ just looks like a heap of mess to me, but that’s the way most Tweets look. Hash tags are bad enough, but now there are incomprehensible abbreviated hash tags (like #FF, which apparently means “follow Friday” oh, right). The long-forgotten “at” sign that made a stunning comeback via e-mail preens around all over Twitter as if it has been one of our favourite punctuation marks for generations.
Coming to Re-tweeting. What is the point ?? Essentially, re-tweeting is the practice of posting the same thing of which someone else has posted, again, and again And again. Nobody benefits from this unless it’s some viral campaign or a really important or interesting blog post; fair enough, but it just plain irritates the hell out of me. “Oh yeah, I’m re-tweeting this from somebody else to show my individuality to the world”; shut up, you are clearly an idiot. And then there emerges the question as who actually is on Twitter. Some enterprising or possibly trouble-making person might go register on Twitter under a celebrity’s name and start posting as that celebrity. Then, the real celebrity would come along and start posting under the name “The Real(celebrity)” as in Asli_Jacqueline!! Of course, I don’t follow any of those people, so it doesn’t really matter that much to me. But the notion that the person I believe to be Tweeting might actually be somebody else altogether really bothers me.