Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It Was A Stupid Waste Of Time, Until I Started Using It

In May, Tony Wright, national affairs editor for Fairfax media, unloaded a tirade of anti-Twitter bitterness, claiming "much of the chatter is less substantial than air" (excerpts) :

Twitter, for those free souls who have avoided contact with modernity, is a method of shooting your latest thought (a term used loosely) into that disembodied world inhabited by the millions who operate a computer or a mobile phone. You have precisely 149 characters, including spaces, to type each thought, which boils down to the sad question: "What are you doing now?"

The result, almost universally, is banal communication almost beneath description.

It is the current equivalent of citizens' band (CB) radio, where the poor sad sods who drove trucks up and down the highway shouted "breaker, breaker" into their hand-held mikes, followed by inane fantasies that rarely amounted to more than the truth that here was a bored person sitting isolated on his bum, watching the traffic go by.

A recent Nielsen survey that found 60 per cent of Twits quit in the first month is cause for hope that we have not all lost our minds. Dross is dross, even if it spins in the enchanting cosmos of cyberspace.

Tony Wright joined Twitter on August 15. He now uses Twitter prolifically, primarily to cover Question Time.