Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lurker Exposed: Why I wasn't on Twitter

Many of my friends know that I am not a fan of Twitter, and yet I lurk on there. Here are some quick thoughts on the site.

First, I should point out that I think I 'get it': the sense of community, particularly if you work with people remotely. I also understand that if I don't like it, I can just stay away.... so we're in full Unsolicited Opinion Mode here (and somewhat tongue-in-cheek).

Twitter killed the blogging star

Gah! With blogs everything was going great: people wrote paragraphs, and others commented. Flame wars were so large that the flames danced into the night sky, harkening back to Usenet and other media of yore. Twitter strikes me as a threat (hopefully a short-lived one) to the Great Conversations, banzai stunts, and comics.

To paraphrase Stephen Wright, Twitter strikes me as HDADD : High-Definition Attention-Deficit Disorder. There's hardly any focus, but when it is there, it's "140 characters of amazing clarity" *eye roll*

The War Room

My current team works in an open "war room" where there is a healthy peer pressure regarding minimal browsing. Plus, I can't speak for you, but I seek simplicity when at work: no IM, no phone, and sometimes even no shoes. Sure, I have guilty pleasures but I don't need another.

Navel Lint

Does anyone really want my status? What if I'm wondering why navel lint is never the same colour as the garments one has been wearing? Strangely, I do enjoy others' navel-gazing.... until one random tweet puts me off, and then I'm back into rant mode.

Sharing Links

I no longer care about websites that have been sent to me in email. Same thing for twitter. I've noticed that the best sites are those that people mention here. Essentially, your collective memories serve as my spam filter because if you remember it well enough to talk about it, it's probably good.

Who knew that you've been working for me? Awesome. Now, let's go to a cafe, pub, or tech talk and have a real conversation.


Hoo-boy. Many smart people bemoan the lack of nuance in the mainstream media (especially in North America) but then try to chat about issues in 140 characters? Yikes. Even better is the lack of threaded conversations. As a lurker, I'm clicking all over the place to try and connect the dots on a pseudo-conversation.

Firing of Dopminergic Neurons... Wheels down on a dopamine rush

I have a feeling that when one is tweeted by another who is "higher on the geek pecking order" that it fires reward sensors in the brain that can be interpreted as insight, or a meaningful connection. It is neither! It's merely a biochemical reaction! Can't you people see what is happening? You may say twitter is a "convenient, asychronous chat-room where the whole is greater than the sum of its tweets". I say it is a delusion, a vacuous sham of humanity that takes us one step closer to the Borg.


OH: Twitter sucks.

That said, you may be interested in the next post, where I'll tell you why I can't resist, and why I'm giving it a shot.

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