1.31.2011

th nxt bg thng (y i dnt twt)


I'm sticking fast to my resolve to not be on Twitter. I have no doubt that it would sometimes be fun and useful. On the other hand, do I need it? The answer is most definitely no.

My life is so full of distractions. I rarely have enough time to focus clearly and at length on the things that matter most to me. I want to read in-depth articles and hefty novels, not skim headlines - in both the literal and figurative sense.

I also want quiet space. I want space in my life not spent in front of a screen of any type.

This relates to my extreme aversion to the number one scourge of modern life, an even greater annoyance than inappropriate cell phone use: background music. The music played in every store, waiting area, coffee shop, mall, in every everywhere. Every moment of our lives must be filled with some form of entertainment. We must never be alone with our thoughts. This is how I see Twitter - as if we all must have a constant scroll, a feed, a zipper, at the bottom of our life screens.

I somewhat enjoy Facebook, and I find it very useful for activism. But Facebook is also a giant time-sucking machine, a potential addiction - another distraction. I have no reason to think Twitter would be any different.

Please note: this is how I feel. This is not Twitter Is Bad. Twitter is a toy, or a tool, or a means of communication, or a method of information delivery: neither inherently good nor bad. If you enjoy it and it works for you, that's what counts.

15 comments:

Kev said...

I also want quiet space

Amen!

Jere said...

Almost every new toy that emerges seems to prove the fact that people don't do something because they want or need to, but because it's there. (Or because they feel the need to do what their friends are doing.)

I'd rather be left behind with the smart people than go along with the morons. If substance and intelligence are officially deemed "uncool," I'm not gonna go and be stupid to just to fit in.

laura k said...

Can't say I really agree you there, Jere. Everyone who uses Twitter is not a moron, and I don't think people divide the world into cool and uncool based on Twitter use. Twitter is s far too prevalent for that, IMO.

Also, a toy can just be fun - not something we needed or wanted, but something we enjoy once it's there. Sometimes when I get into new technology I'm impressed with how much I like it, despite the fact that I lived without it until then.

allan said...

There does seem to be a pattern of a huge amount of people using (chronology possibly wrong) live journal, then everyone switched to myspace, then everyone started blogging, then everyone started twittering, etc., etc.

Not because anyone was necessarily fed up or dissatisfied with any of those, but because a new thing came along and "everyone" starting using it.

allan said...

Everyone who uses Twitter is not a moron

95% of them are.

But 95% of everything is moronic.

laura k said...

There does seem to be a pattern of a huge amount of people using (chronology possibly wrong) live journal, then everyone switched to myspace, then everyone started blogging, then everyone started twittering, etc., etc.

Not because anyone was necessarily fed up or dissatisfied with any of those, but because a new thing came along and "everyone" starting using it.


Yes, I agree. There is that. But that is just a different approach to new things. I don't think it's stupid or somehow inferior to the way I approach new things or new technology.

Some people (not necessarily Jere!) make a big deal about not adopting some new technology, proudly proclaiming they don't have a cell phone or they still use a typewriter. I think that's just as silly as the person who thinks he's cool because he has an iPad (or whatever gadget).

laura k said...

Tangent:

I will never understand why some people are proud of ignorance. I have a friend who proudly proclaims herself a technophobe. What about being afraid of modern life is there to be proud of? Then there are the sportswriters who are afraid of new (to them) statistics.

There are shitloads of things I know nothing about, but I wish I knew about almost everything!

deang said...

I have a friend in her 80s who hasn't been to see a movie in a cinema since the 1980s because that's when she says films started using unnecessary background music and amplified sound effects to an annoying degree, which she considers manipulative and annoying. She remembers when movies had only dialog and sounds from the immediate setting, with occasional music swells (and she hated the music swells even then). She gets annoyed with a lot of documentary TV programs now for the same reason - even nature shows these days have augmented sound effects and raucous music playing a lot of the time.

impudent strumpet said...

That constant obsolescence of platforms really annoys me. In high school ICQ was the instant messenger of choice, but then in the early 2000s everyone switched to MSN for some reason. Then people were briefly using Google Chat all the sudden (which is annoying because it doesn't even beep when a new message shows up), and then they all went to Facebook. Each one meets my needs less well than the last - ICQ still meets my needs best, and the trouble of maintaining more than a nominal Facebook profile isn't worth the benefit of being on the same chat platform as everyone else.

But on Twitter, astronauts and figure skating coaches and TV writers answer my questions. So it isn't another social platform for me, it's a completely different awesome thing.

laura k said...

@deang, I have a lot in common with that friend. :) The intrusive soundtrack, the noise for the sake of noise, the manipulation... I hate it.

@Imp Strump, is there any way to resist the obsolescence of platforms? If you use an obsolete platform, are you left without anyone to communicate with?

But on Twitter, astronauts and figure skating coaches and TV writers answer my questions. So it isn't another social platform for me, it's a completely different awesome thing.

I think that's very cool. I like that a lot about Twitter a lot - which is one way I know it would be a Giant Time-Sucking Device for me.

laura k said...

I like that a lot about Twitter a lot

My own editing, however, leaves something to be desired.

impudent strumpet said...

If you use an obsolete platform, are you left without anyone to communicate with?

That's right, there's just nobody there. They all show up as offline. It's like how if all your friends stopped turning on their cellphones, text messages would no longer be an effective means of communication.

laura k said...

Well, that explains why everyone switches.

And sometimes the switch is to a better medium - like Blogger or WordPress versus LJ. If Blogging had stayed at the LJ level, I doubt I would have ever started a blog.

Steve said...

Dr. Morris Berman said it best:

"As for south of the border, I was recently riding around Mexico City with a colleague of mine when we saw a huge billboard ad for some cell phone, with the caption, in three-foot high block capitals (in English, for some strange reason), KILL SILENCE. “Well,” I remarked to my colleague, “at least they are being honest about it.” “Oh,” he quipped, “you are fixated on cell phones.”

It’s hard to know how to reply to a dismissive remark of this kind, since even the brightest people don’t get it, and usually have no idea what George Steiner meant when he called modernity “the systematic suppression of silence.” Silence, after all, is the source of all self-knowledge, and of much creativity as well. But it is hardly valued by societies that confuse creativity with productivity. What I am fixated on, in fact, is not technology but the fixation on technology, the obsession with it."

http://morrisberman.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-chic-was-my-progress.html

laura k said...

Who is Dr Morris Berman and who is Steve?