Twitter: a few observations

The press have been making it tediously apparent that the world and his Stephen Fry have become obsessed with Twitter, and as I like to keep abreast of what’s down with the kids (or indeed the artist formerly known as Lord Melchett) I have given it a go.

And I have to say, so far I don’t see what all the fuss is about. It’s like the “status update” part of facebook has been removed to its own website, so you get a running stream of sentences telling you what people are up to.

The problem is, it’s that mundane. If people used their allotted 140 characters to make witty comments or insightful observations then it might be an interesting website to pop onto, but what it actually boils down to is a lot of people saying what they had for dinner, a handful of technogeeks posting their latest observations about the failings of the internet, and Stephen Fry admiring his fans admiring him.

I’ve tried to make my own updates – sorry, tweets (sigh) – like tiny Dickensian bon mots, but I fear I’m ploughing a lonely furrow. Even Stephen Fry hasn’t mastered the art of fitting his usual wit and sagacity into 140 letters.

That such a master of verbosity has championed this website above any other is really quite surprising; you’d have thought blogging would be more up his street. But clearly he likes the ability to make a sneaky update on what he had for dinner in between takes of whatever TV programme he’s guesting on, and I can see why that would be appealing. I’ve taken to doing it myself.

It’s just not very interesting for the people reading it.

Neither is it a useful photo-sharing or staying-in-touch tool like Facebook or any of the other ones I haven’t taken to using. It’s just plain stalking. But not the interesting stalking that makes you feel aroused if you’re into that kind of thing: this is the most moribund stalking you can possibly imagine.

So, sorry to those of you I’ve been “following” (see, even the terminology is sinister) – I don’t care that you won’t be in London for all those dates, Mr Fry; I don’t care that you’re warming to the snow, Mr Carr; Mr Aylett I don’t even understand what all those internet terms mean; and all of the rest of you, your dinner is of no interest to me unless I am invited to join you for it.

If blogging is old fashioned then I’ve got two words for you: dumbing down.

Just finished school, heading home for pork chops.

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