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I make no secret of the fact that there are more than a few things about our modern electronic world that I find both infantile and irritating. Infantile because they seem to feed into those aspects of our nature most intent upon living forever in the virtual dream world of socially obsessed 15 year olds, and irritating because, let’s face it, 15 year olds can be pretty annoying when they are actually 15, and even more so when they get to be 35 year old, 15 year olds.
The latest craze to come along and insinuate its evil way into my existence is Twitter. Or twittering, or tweeting, or whatever it’s called. I have read how it works and all about its uses because I had to, since I dislike ignorance even more than I do social networking, which is saying a lot. However, understanding it was purely academic since that knowledge in no way made it any more attractive to me than it was before I knew anything about it, and I still wouldn’t twitter or tweet or whatever unless you held a gun to my head. The fact of the matter is, I cannot imagine that anyone on this planet could be even the tiniest bit interested in where I am, what I am doing every minute of the day, or what I think about anything…ever. Why would they? I don’t care what they are doing or thinking. Especially if they are thinking in only 140 characters, which would indicate to me that they are not thinking much or very deeply.
Personally, I don’t care if Twitter exists and anyone is entitled to engage in whatever electronic nonsense they please without any interference from me, but why do I have to have it invading my existence night and day? I go online to read a story about an earthquake, an article about the particle accelerator in Switzerland, a speech by a world leader, or a breakdown of election results in outer Mongolia, and they have posted dozens of tweets all over the web page! I watch news on television and they feel it necessary to let me know who is tweeting whom about what as if it were newsworthy. Some comedian tweets about some lothario golfer and gets in huge trouble and it’s on my news? Are you serious? Do I care what some schizophrenic comedian thinks about some skirt-chasing golfer, or anything else for that matter? Not even a little. Twitter is not communicating - it's gossiping. There are a thousand channels on cable devoted to some of the most specific and ridiculous subjects imaginable, couldn’t they just make a cable twitter news channel and then all the tweeting twits could go there?
I was listening to a BBC report the other day that said that a 25 year old unemployed Frenchman living with his parents in a tiny village hacked into the Twitter accounts of a variety of famous and infamous people, posted proof of his cyber crimes online, and that a joint FBI and French police task force had finally tracked him and arrested him. Sounds like a B comedy movie plot, right? Here is where it gets kind of creepy – the reporter continued on to say that two of the accounts into which he successfully hacked belonged to Britany Spears and President Obama. First of all, the fact that a silly pop star of questionable taste and talent and the President of the United States have something in common that causes them to be mentioned in the same sentence is just disturbing. The fact that the leader of a rich and powerful nation facing some of the most serious problems in history has a Twitter account at all is even more so.
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