The banality of Twitter

I use Twitter as do many of the folks I work and play with. Why do we use it? I think there are four types of Twitter users:

1) Try-anything-oncers – They made an account and stopped using it immediately.
2) Lifecasters – Folks who are basically telling about 10 close friends what they’re up to. The vast majority of Tweeters.
3) Egocasters – I’ll admit that I’m in this category. These are Twitterers who Tweet to be heard. “In plane on way to sex with the Queen Mother” or “@scobleizer I was just thinking that while I was making lots of money on the Internet” are two egregious examples. Others are “Hello, Tweeters! Just had my coffee” and “I like turtles.”
4) Robots

I woke up this morning to read a flurry of Tweets from many of the leading lights of the Internet revolution. Some examples: “LOL! Just had two shots of espresso!” “eating breakfast with @barakobama and @stanleykubrick’s son” “Just spilled my cereal on my floor!”

It was like reading the rantings of a narcissistic incarnation of Hello Kitty: cutesy and full of false bravado masquerading as innocence. As a result, I released a series of Tweets describing my toilet habits. The result was a series of Tweets back claiming I had been hacked, as if my little rant had been the work of drooling juveniles. Maybe it was, but I had not be hacked.

Samuel Pepys wrote about his bowel movements. Charles Bukowski wrote about his drunken rages. William Burroughs wrote about gay sex under the influence of opiates. What does our generation write about? Hitting #starbucks at #sxsw09 with @juliaalison and @cyborggerbil. Seriously, people. We can now transmit our thoughts to millions of people. Let’s make those thoughts count. Let’s talk about human things. Let’s talk about how to solve economic problems. I seriously do not care about your cat, your drive to work, or the fact that you’re on a flight to Cabo. Let’s man up.

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