Sunday, March 8, 2009

Why I Hate Twitter

One of the most popular social-networking sites of the past few years is Twitter. Members of the site post brief, 140-character long messages known as "tweets" whenever they feel like it. This allows friends and family to keep up with the user's activities throughout the day. Twitter is free to use, explosively popular, and utterly stomach-churning to me.
Twitter Drivel T-Shirt
There are lots of reasons why I hate Twitter, starting with the absolutely awful name. If Twitter is the name of the website, does that mean its members are all "Twits?" Last time I checked, that was a pretty undesirable thing to be called.

The second reason I hate Twitter is the nature of the service that they provide. By posting "tweets," your friends and family can know what you're doing at any moment throughout the day. I guess the telephone, the answering machine, the cell phone, the voicemail box, the text message, the letter, the handwritten note, email, instant messaging, MySpace comments and messages, blogs, and good old fashioned talking to your friends just aren't enough to keep in touch in these modern times! With so many ways to communicate with one another, is one more really necessary?

Third, the type of information that people post on Twitter is so boring, useless, and inane that I cannot believe anyone cares about this stuff. Does my cousin across the country really care that I ate a burrito for lunch today? Is it critical that my friends and co-workers know when I am procrastinating on my homework? Does anyone at all need to know that I got a new pair of shoes or got my car's oil changed this weekend?

The information people post on Twitter is beyond trivial; it has no value to anyone. If I did something truly noteworthy like get engaged, move to a new house, or change careers, I'd let my friends know with a telephone call, email message, or other form of communication mentioned above.

When people make a post such as: "Just got dressed, heading out to work now" it is really not noteworthy. What do you want, praise for accomplishing a simple everyday task? Do you expect a pat on the head for that meager accomplishment, or are you just a whore for attention?

The whole Twitter phenomenon reminds me of the popular catchphrase of the 1990's: TMI, or Too Much Information. In context, the expression is used when someone tells you all the dirty details and it makes you uncomfortable. I certainly don't think strangers on the Internet need to know that I'm heading out to the library to return an overdue book or that I was late to work this morning because I had to clean up a big pile of cat barf on the rug. I hesitate to tell those things even to close personal friends, but apparently some people have no shame (especially when it comes to very personal medical problems).

The fourth reason that Twitter sucks is its 140-character limit. With an email or telephone call, I am free to say as much as I want to, whether it's ten words or ten thousand words. I am free to add pictures, video, and anything else I want to get my message across. The Internet is all about removing boundaries on creative self-expression, unless you're on Twitter in which case you are required to stay in your 140-character corral. After all, you don't want to get too detailed or anything.

Finally, I hate Twitter because it is made for the laziest kind of people. I view Twitter users as people too lazy to place a telephone call, compose an email, or tap out a text message because it takes too much work. For them, Twitter is a quick and easy way to say "Hey world, pay attention to me!" without the effort of picking up a phone, writing a blog, or doing anything creative that takes real effort.

To summarize, Twitter has a terrible name, it is unnecessary in our thoroughly-connected modern society, it is full of useless information, its members have no shame about what they share, and it's the quickest path to becoming an attention whore ever devised. Fuck Twitter.

I am not the only one who feels this way:,8599,1877187,00.html,9171,1879169,00.html