Jerry Bowles was on to something eight months ago when he wrote about the inanity of Twitter. With the rise of countless Hollywoodesque actors, athletes, and musicians using the 140-character microblog, the majority answer the question, “What are you doing?” and their updates are silly, stupid, and surreal.
Lance Armstrong: “Just back from a hard 4.5 hrs on the mtb. 2 flats. And now I have 2 flat legs too.”
Soleil Moon Frye: “Okay, Heading out to meeting. Wish me luck. Lots of love to all of you!!!”
Penn Jillette: “It’s been so hot lately that our whole pool is hot bath temperature. I do laps and it’s a very weird experience to feel sweat while swimming”
Britney Spears: “Blondes do have more fun.”
Eddie Izzard: “Going to sleep now. Bloody early! But I finished another marathon today. That’s the 7th. Got to make it through this week.”
Ryan Seacrest: “Spoke to randy..hope to speak with paula privately overnight.”
Who cares? I neither follow their tweets–nor desire to. But if celebrities use Twitter like the above (and there are exceptions, ranging from MC Hammer and Kathy Ireland to Justin Timberlake who actively follow, reply, and retweet so-called normal people like you and me), what do their ego-stroking tweets say about their fans’ usage?
If Soleil Moon Frye wants to emulate CNN on Twitter with short bursts of text and links, so be it. But if John Smith and Jane Adams (who follow Soleil) start twittering like their role model, what will this mean to their fans?
I frequently see valueless tweets by everyday schmoes, but I’m cool with those monologues as they don’t monopolize one’s outgoing stream. It’s OK to chit chat and be in the moment now and then. I do it a lot. But I’m not using Twitter as a one-way broadcast channel–and unless you’re a news organization like CNN, you shouldn’t either.
Would Britney or Lance care about anyone’s tweet if it resembled their tweet? I wonder.
All I know is the next time you see someone walk around town with the following Venn diagram t-shirt, stop for a moment and consider that maybe Twitter is stupid.
Twitter may, indeed, be a perfect vehicle for celebrity birdbrains like Britney Spears. But that doesn’t mean you have to do what she does–which on Twitter, is hardly anything but ego stroking and serving as an online inspiration for stalkers.