For something that didn't even exist until 2006, Twitter is apparently the greatest invention in the history of humankind. At least that's what the folks at Twitter would have us believe, but is it actually true? Is Twitter really one of humanity's best creations, or is it simply another funky tool for bored youths to keep tabs on one another with? Has it actually benefited our species, or has it merely opened the door for a slew of other similar sites to which you can now post live video of your butt? Twitter has its diehard fans and those who simply couldn't care less about it. For one and all, let's take a hard look at this whole crazy phenomena, specifically the top 10 reasons Twitter blows;
10 140 characters
Seriously? 140 characters to get your point across? That's less content than you could find on a single bubble gum wrapper. And that damn thing includes a list of 37 ingredients for mercy's sake. Okay, the limits on Twitter are understandable, in that the service isn't a true instant messenger as we've come to know and love them, but rather an incredibly truncated means of simply contacting people with 140 characters or less. This is perfectly acceptable if you only want to say hello to someone or find out when your partner is getting home with that pizza, but not so much as a means of let's say, fomenting or sustaining a political or social revolution. When was the last time anyone's manifesto could be condensed into something a bored teenager can read in between browsing sextapes and Instagraming selfies?
BTW; the above paragraph is exactly 140 words. Try changing the world within those cramped parameters Che Guevara 2.0, much less a measly 140 characters.
A recent study by a social media analytics firm and a social media advertising agency concluded that, 'Twitter users are the least literate internet users in social networking.' KAPOW! Next they'll be telling us that Google is kind of popular and that nobody uses MySpace anymore (yeah, right). Could no one foresee that asking teenagers (the first demographic to originally embrace the service) to use 140 characters or less to contact one another wouldn't find a means of trimming even that paltry amount down to something almost unrecognizable as English? Wouldn't that automatically mean that even if they couldn't articulate something vocally, they could always tweet it and no matter how indecipherable it may seem to someone older than 16, it makes perfect sense to a generation bred on electronic endorphins? The potential that in 40 years the majority of people on Earth will be reduced to speaking in clicks and tongue clucking like an African San Bushman is unsettling.
8 Not a catalyst
Despite its recent emergence as a means of exposing social or cultural injustice, the media has heralded Twitter as a catalyst for inciting everything from better gender relations to political revolutions. This is as moronic as claiming the French Revolution was sparked by the amazing technological breakthrough of quill pens. The idea of social media acting as anything more than a means of mostly mundane information transference is just nuts. Of course there can be some form of social benefits to Twitter, but let's keep our perspective here people; 140 characters simply could not have given birth to the Arab Spring, though admittedly it did expedite the proceedings.
Twitter was almost certainly developed partly as a means of countering the inescapable ennui that seems to be overwhelming societies all over the world. The ultimate irony of this lies in the fact that people will almost certainly eventually become bored with Tweeting, having moved on to some newer, hipper form of invasive, hopefully bionic or at the very least Klingon technology that will make Twitter feel about as advanced as sending smoke signals. Then what? Then what are we to make of this all-powerful, essential tool that supposedly held the future of humankind in its 140 character grasp? Will we then have to smash our Twitter temples and profess our devotion to something even better?
Wow; apparently Twitter has changed the universe in ways we have yet to imagine. It transcends everything we'll ever know and everything we've ever known. This is the same kind of nonsense that had people raised on 'The Jetsons' believing we'd all be zooming around in flying cars by now; whole generations of kids had their faith in the future shattered when it gradually became obvious that they had been duped. Twitter is no different. It gives the illusion of a future that it alone can shape, but it's mere fantasy. It's just as likely to be replaced in a few years by some yet more invasive form of short form communication that plugs directly into your cerebral cortex and shoots you real time updates on 'The King of Kardashia' every other millisecond.
Do yourselves a favor and don' belie' da hype, yo.
No matter what people may claim, the vast majority of evidence indicates that Twitter is predominantly concerned with giving millions the opportunity to divulge and share the most excruciating minutiae of their previously inaccessible lives. This is just what the world needs; a means by which 12 year olds can now spend hours endlessly obsessing over why some of their peers prefer One Direction to Justin Bieber, or why your friend can't stop feeling jealous about a colleague's success he's pretty sure is based on the fact that she slept with the boss, according to the Twitter rumors. It's this kind of critical information that is now permeating communications all over the world, improving our lives in countless unimaginable ways that no one has yet to discover.
This is an actual Tweet sent out by MSNBC in December 2013.
This is the inevitable result of a tool that encourages people to constantly reduce words to their least decipherable, compacted forms that are scarcely recognizable as a known language
Kimye, people? Seriously? This is the kind of communication you want the aliens to find us employing? This is what thousands of years of civilization and language have led us to? WTF?
Not content to abbreviate to the point of Nihilism, the Twitterverse has created its own form of spelling which used to be known simply as 'illiteracy.' When a young person who has never known a world without Twitter or the internet becomes accustomed to communicating among his/her peers in a format that doesn't require proper spelling, you can be sure that they will be in no rush to improve that situation by employing standard linguistics. That's why it's all 'LOL' and 'lmao' and 'fwiw' and countless other contractions in between an infinite number of ways to incorrectly use the pronouns 'there, their and they're.' Don't be surprised if in 20 years, whole generations of young people who have never used cursive script, will only be capable of writing their signatures and precious little else that doesn't come with an automatic spellcheck they will routinely ignore.
They are just annoying, dammit. And how did the number sign become perverted into a 'hash-tag?' Who came up with that? What? It wasn't cool enough to type 'numbersign justin bieber haircut' to get your real time gossip?
It's...it's just not right, people that's all, it's just not right.
1 Over Reliance
Try imagining any world event of the last 5 years without some accompanying report on how people have reacted to it on Twitter. Without an account, you can't run for public office, improve profits for your business, make plans with your family or even follow the likes of Miley Cyrus in some weird, delusional fantasy that this somehow makes you friends. Tweets have basically replaced the press conference as the means of clarifying any statement or behavior that lands you in hot water and has become an essential ingredient in our celebrity worship culture. We are rapidly entering a world where young people won't believe something actually happened unless they see it on Twitter, and that ain't good.