This article is Ancient (archive 2011)

Twitter Confuses me Like I Fear Change

Let me say that understand twitter from a technological standpoint. I’ve had an account for most of my adult life. But in setting up this website I’ve realized that it’s compulsory for a successful blog. Why is twitter so important?

I’ll soon set up our blogs to “tweet” automatically, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Is it because the character limit encourages shallow, nuance-killing thought? Not if you believe in nano-flash fiction, as this short-form horror site does. Or in haiku, as this twaiku compilation does. Even as I struggle to keep an open mind about “art”, I have to wonder if the genuinely creepy nano-flash horror manages as a footnote to great works of horror and suspense, while much #twaiku breaks the rules of classical haiku and suffers for it.

To be fair, great novels often contain “nutshell” lines, which allow readers to grasp much of the novel without reading the whole damn thing.

“At the hotel we had separate rooms, but in the middle of the night she came sobbing into mine, and we made it up very gently. You see, she had absolutely nowhere else to go.” -Lolita

This line, at 173 characters, hints that my disdain for twitter might simply be a knee-jerk, old-guard reaction. I don’t want to Ebert-it (one of my favorite articles), and dismiss a whole form of media because I don’t want to take the time to learn anything “new”. At the bottom of this article, after a long and drawn out discussion about how he’s just not interested in video games, Ebert references a poll he conducted on twitter.

Yes, I’m a hip, tech-savvy twenty-something. Yes, I’d like to have access to the markets available on twitter. Yes, I know I need twitter to see what’s “trending” and keep up in this hyper-saturated, hyper-competitive, media marketplace. No, I couldn’t stand to be reduced to getting my news from TV and Time Magazine. But really world? Twitter?


Twitter became important because people started calling it important and led us to the byte-size de/affirmation cycle that keeps me clinging to your comments and compulsively checking my stats. Talking to the internet feels a lot like screaming into the void, so we cherish any sign that people are listening. This makes social media ridiculously addictive.

Once a few us are hooked, we promote it to our friends to boost the number of responses we can get, until some major media outlet picks it up, promotes it, and makes it mandatory for the rest of us. And since I’m afraid of change good lord does it annoy me.

I know I’m not alone. Facebook has changed profile layouts twice since I joined, and each time I’ve received at least ten invitations to groups like “We Hate the New Profile” and “Tell Facebook to Change it Back” (with varying degrees of literacy in the titles). It’s annoying to have to learn to navigate new media platforms constantly in order to satisfy the technorati. In any case, click the share buttons below to let everyone know that you hate change too, on whatever media platform you prefer.

And, no, we’re not going to talk about tumblr.

Do you understand why twitter is important, or have you avoided learning it as well? Do you believe that the brevity of tweets creates succinct and moving poetry, or is twaiku too much for you? Are late adopters scared of change or simply standing their ground? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Update: You can follow us on twitter now…

Also, found this: “Twitter Quitters Say Twitter is Boring”.