February 27, 2009

2 Latest Thoughts About Twitter

Last week I made a lot of readers unhappy with my posts (here and here) about Twitter.

It's not good strategy to antagonize your audience but, what the hell, it's only a hobby. Here are two more thoughts.

Latest Thought #1:

I have summed up my opinion of Twitter in the following way: It's how the narcissistic keep in touch with the feckless.

To bolster my case, I call your attention (thanks to David Burn of AdPulp) to a recent interesting piece in the The Sunday Times (of London.) The reporter asked a few really smart people about Twitter. Here are excerpts from what they said:

The clinical psychologist Oliver James has his reservations. “Twittering stems from a lack of identity. It’s a constant update of who you are, what you are, where you are. Nobody would Twitter if they had a strong sense of identity.”

“We are the most narcissistic age ever,” agrees Dr David Lewis, a cognitive neuropsychologist and director of research based at the University of Sussex. “Using Twitter suggests a level of insecurity whereby, unless people recognise you, you cease to exist. It may stave off insecurity in the short term, but it won’t cure it.”

For Alain de Botton, author of Status Anxiety and the forthcoming The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Twitter represents “a way of making sure you are permanently connected to somebody and somebody is permanently connected to you, proving that you are alive. It’s like when a parent goes into a child’s room to check the child is still breathing. It is a giant baby monitor.”

Just because a bunch of psychologists and philosophers agree with me, doesn't necessarily mean I'm wrong.

Latest Thought #2

One of the great attractions of Twitter is that it is new. It is of the present.

It doesn't take any great power of observation to notice that as electronic communication has become increasingly pervasive, fads grow faster and die more violent deaths.

Perspective is the ability to separate that which is new and currently popular from that which is worthwhile.

In the parade of knuckleheads, the grand marshal is the one who believes the present always knows best.

By The Way...

TAC recommends two terrific books by the above-mentioned Alain de Botton -- Status Anxiety and How Proust Can Change Your Life.

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