Twitter is stupid and we’re all narcissists

Okay, so I just signed up for a Twitter account. What that did was further my belief that we are now smack in the middle of the Me Age.

Two hundred years later, history students will read in their textbooks: “The year 2000 marked the start of the Me Age with the proliferation of Internet activity. The possibilities for self-publishing created a social phenomenon that took the world by storm as increasing individuals bought a piece of Internet real estate to advertise one predominant product — themselves.”

I mean, this is totally what is happening and I do not exempt myself from this mounting horror.

In 1996, I made my very first website for my IRC community. I had photos and funny blurbs of all my channel regulars. I wrote a witty article extolling the virtues of IRC. The website’s purpose was to show off my web designing skills (which was then a big deal), my writing skills and my sense of humour.

In 1997, I made my first personal website. Its purpose was to glorify myself and shout to the whole world that an individual such as I existed.

And, you know, that tradition of narcissism continues till today. But I think it’s all good because, really, it’s not only about me.

People who have their own websites and blogs aren’t only saying “look at ME”. They’re also expressing their individuality, creativity and talents through the design of their site, through their written words, through the photographs that they themselves have taken. Creativity must be shared with the world.

But twitter is another matter altogether.

What the hell is twitter?

When I first started seeing it on all my friends’ blogs, my reaction was something like, “Har? Can eat or not one?”

I didn’t get an account because it seemed stupid to me. Like, does anyone care what you were doing at exactly 4.26 pm last Friday? Honestly, no.

And if you must tell the whole world that you are, right this very moment, enjoying your char kuay teow, why must you put an extra box in your blog to say that? Why can’t you just post a one-line blog entry instead?

So, I finally signed up today to see for myself what all the fuss is.

I have posted my first update, clicked all over the site and read a few strangers’ rants.

And I still don’t really get it.

Twitter is totally the spokesperson for the “Me Culture”. In the little pink and blue boxes that are fast invading more and more corners of the Internet, we see nothing more than shouts for attention.

“Look at me! I just did my laundry and wiped the kitchen counter clean!! Can you beat that???”

What the hell? What the hell?

Where is the creativity? The entertainment value? The thing that will make people go, “Ahhh… that was worth my two seconds reading it.”?

And you thought the narcissism of personal web pages and cam whoring couldn’t get any worse.

To all my friends who have twitter, don’t fret. Even though I think twitter is stupid, I still love you and I will read your twitters because you’re my friend.

But allow me to ask you this:

Do you think I should just STFU and get with twitter already?

Thank you for reading.

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60 thoughts on “Twitter is stupid and we’re all narcissists

  1. Some people like it for its voyeristic properties. Knowing what friends and loved ones are doing at a point of time can bring a sense of assurance, somewhat.

    Lets take for example, I’ve a friend who twittered that they are in a particular location, and I’m in the vicinity, its a useful tool for us to meet up because it broadcasts too all the friends who added us.

    At the same time it seems that many of the ones in my contacts only focus on their own selves and dont even read what I have to say, so I find it pointless sometimes.

  2. well, i think its a fad and will pass after a year or two. Unless they can think up a new gimmick every few months to add to the voyeur novelty.

    In any case, if anyone wanted to know if i was shitting and reading the papers at the same time 1.5 days ago, all they had to do was sms.. hah.

  3. Loong: Thanks. Short and succinct.

    Ruok: lol ok.

    marina: yeah I supppose twitter does have its uses, although limited.

    vinyarb: haha maybe they will think up new stuff to keep it novel, they always do.

    lyn: it did? cool!

  4. I tried twitter but gave up a day later. Very boring.

    I still prefer my chalkboard which essentially is the same thing except that I get to doodle on it. No stifling of creativity!

    Granted it is not as convenient as twitter, the chalkboard suits me just fine given that I update it only once a week or so.

  5. Hi Sheylara,

    I find most posts mundane and uninteresting on Twitter too. I don’t care about what people are eating. So I thought I would start Twittering about my job.

    I am a STAND IN (http://tinyurl.com/37mwgk) on a network TV SERIES. I post from behind the scenes on the set about the ACTORS & CREW.

    You will see a film set from someone in the middle of it all. I STAND surrounded by the DIRECTOR, ACTORS, CAMERA OPERATORS, PRODUCERS etc and see everything.

    I invite you to Follow me for a day or two.

    How’s that for creativity and entertainment value?!

    Any questions don’t hesitate to Direct Message or eMaIL Me.

    SI

  6. Which is why I didn’t sign up for one. :P
    and I think it takes up too much space. A twitter, normally a couple of lines but the space can put many many many lines. (eh, understand what I’m trying to say? :P)

  7. I thought it was silly too when I signed up for the first time.

    But when I started to add my friends, and interesting ppl around, it gets quite intersting…and probably addictive. :D

  8. uglyfatchick: Yeah I get you. Most of the twitter box is empty of text. Big waste of blog sidebar space! :P

    Herry: Haha… ok. I guess it can be fun if you have friends twittering to each other funny stuff.

  9. It’s amazing how many people use it. I’m one of them, although I haven’t in a while. I suppose Generation Me wants to know what YOU are going at this very moment. At least that what Twitter hopes.

  10. It’s been exactly one year since you wrote this piece and Twitter is still stupid. Nothing has changed.

    If I could vote for the most stupid website that has taken hold of certain friends I deemed intelligent at one point, Twitter would be the obvious choice.

  11. Shouldn’t your life have a little mystery to it? I just learned about twitter and I find it completely ridiculous. People actually take the time to post that they’re eating something? Puh-lease.

    Anyway this blog is the first on google for “Twitter is stupid.”

  12. Twitter? It sounds like gossip. This whole so called “Social” network
    schtick does not interest me. It’s full of people leaning on each other
    and acting dumb. This is not character building. It is ego construction
    to the detriment of true social values built upon individuals who act
    upon individual self reliance and contact with God within them.
    But let ’em have their “Twitter”. If it keeps them off the street and out of trouble. Twitterers will just have to deal with their loss of mental powers on their own. To them, I say, “Mind your own business and leave others the hell alone” Get to know yourself and quit minding other peoples business.——Doug Rosbury

  13. Awesome! I don’t get twitter either!

    I put a post on my blog titled, Twitter dee and Twitter…

    Pretty much the same experience you describe.

    Mayhap I’m not just a socially inept cretin.

    Mayhap!

    Thanks for the validation.

    George

  14. No thanks. I wont engage in negative criticism, however, Twitter turns me off and I just stay away from it. I feel much better doing so.
    Doug Rosbury

  15. I just found this post in google and find it funny that you’re bitching about twitter (which i whole heartedly agree with) and yet you are using twitter to this day. lol.

    Just like your post here suggests, I dont think anyone cares that you’re hungry (your latest twitter post). :)

  16. Two years later and I still think Twitter is about the stupidest thing I have seen on the internet yet, and that is saying something.

  17. a simple text message will always do the trick. Twitter in a sense represents validation for some ppl it gives then the”warm fuzzy feeling of been love” “wow sum1 cares tht im actually doing my dishes’ which is all stupid.. because by making a public display of basic everyday activities, gives “Twitteree’s” celebrity status. which is kinda wat society wants…
    so twitter ur seconds away…or not

  18. that’s the problem with the world..

    too many sheep, not many shepherds.

    people don’t realize how ridiculous they are until someone else slaps them across the face. in this case, it’s quite ridiculous.

  19. We imagine we are awake until we realize we are not. How we appear to others can be very different than how we see ourselves.
    We never ask how we appear to others because we truly don’t
    wish to know. Humility should cause us to keep our mouths shut.
    —————-Doug

  20. Twitter is stupid. Offended a friend by showing a video on youtube making fun of twitter and she deleted me from social network. Hell, anyone that uptight is not worth to have as a friend anyway.

  21. Twitter insecurities. lol

    like, she knows she hates hit but won’t admit it to herself because everyone else is using it

    ok i’ll stop

  22. LOL TWITTER:(OKIES) I FAIL TO SEE IT USEFUL PURPOSE?
    LET ME CLAIRIFY <TWITTER IS THE MOST RETARDED THING OUT NOW,ICQ AND YAHOO EVEN AIM DOES ALL THE THINGS THAT TWITTER DOES ALREADY,TWITTER IS THE MOST NONSENSE PROGRAM OUT NOW THATS NO DIFFERENT FROM EXISTING PROGRAMS WITH THE SAME ENGINE PROGRAMING,
    OH ITS POPULAR BECAUSE ACTORS AND SINGERS USE IT LOL,WHAT A WAIST,
    NEXT TIME COME UP WITH SOMETHING ORIGINAL, ALL MY PHONES HAVE BEEN USING THE SAME SERVICE AS TWITTER FOR TEXTN AND SO FORTH,ITS NOT A NEW IDEAL AND I REALLY THINK PEOPLE NEED TO GET A GRIP ON TWITTER IM SO TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT,PC ONLINE GAMES USE THE SAME INTERFACE FOR COMMUNICATED FROM PLAYER TO PLAYER ONLINE AND LOTS OF COMPANIES ARE GETTN SUED FOR USING THE TECH ENGINE THAT MAKES IT WORK,WOTN BE LONG B4 TWITTER GETS SUED TOO LOL TWITTER OKIES 40 YEAR OLD PEOPLE TRIED TO ACT YOUNG BECAUSE THE NAME IS TWITTER!!!!!!!!KEEP ON KEEPN ROTFLMAO

  23. I totally agree with you, I never really cared about Twitter at first, seen a few parodies of it nothing special. Then I was reading the BBC and there was an entry that Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote a twitter post.

    I thought it couldn’t get any lower after the entry showing off “Obama swats a fly mid interview”.

    I went to see the introduction vid of the service, and the whole service is based on advertising non-mandatory activities that You do, maybe they’re good at marketing, but they can make it look like interesting to share every personal detail you do.

    You’re right about the Me Age :D Quite catchy name. It’s like making you give up your privacy and make it look cool :)

    In my country the majority of ppl don’t have smart phones, or portable media devices that allow to make entrys on the way. So I can’t really imagine running every other second to the pc :)

    Maybe It’s just the boredom, and these media companys want to make you feel special that you are spending your time well typing nonsense updates, to ease the guilt you have inside for staying all day at the computer.

  24. Twitter is putting private investigators out of business.

    Good grief, didn’t people move away from their parents because the parents wanted to know what was happening 24/7? Now they want the entire world to know? Someone please explain this line of thinking.

    Alternative jail sentencing should include banning from all forms of technical communication.
    A: Want to *****************?
    B: Not me. They can take away my phone, Twitter, etc. if we get
    caught.

  25. I have no doubt in my mind that the only reason why Twitter is exists is to save companies like CNN money from making blog updates on their website.

    It’s totally useless in forms of communication, and it’s functionality is just as complicated and disorganized as 4chan. All other tv stations, stores, they use twitter because they’re too cheap to do it for their own site.

    I think part of your blog should’ve been about the laziness of people today. I have no doubt in my mind that twitter will become myspace. It will die because of lack of interest, and probably stupid policies and rules that are enforced on their users as well.

    Not to mention the fact we already got something that was invented 10 years ago that was the equivalent to twitter, it’s called a chatroom.

  26. Thanks Sheylara. I found your page after watching an episode of The Agenda on TVO on Twitter and Narcissists.

    Twitter is a fad and people who tweet are useless. You are wise to stay away.

  27. Just the latest of a long line of silly shiny objects on the internet. It will be eclipsed by some even more shiny object and the banal cycle will just keep repeating.

  28. yes twitter is soo stupid…its not even stupid…its stupid exponentiated—what kind of braindead nitwit created it– and how can the masses accept it or it appeal to them– are they inane?? posting updates—the name is the dumbest too—twitter?? u think a 5 year old came up with that….i laughed at it–like wtf…but everyone is ‘TWEETING”..this isnt even narcissism…its total inanity….its like narcissism to the negative nth degree….its a joke….its like everyone is 5 years old….and back in kindergarten…you think twitter is something for grade schoolers…but this is a social networking site…this society is nuts…

  29. I could see it if you have friends and want to amuse or enlighten one another. Otherwise you will just be a hanger on to celebs or journalists who never answer you back or do so to correct you. Who needs that? There are positives – news & arts shared : yet the negatives of being a reject amongst the “twitteriti” is one big downer for me.

  30. actually, to defend ‘look at your blog isn’t it narcissism too’ that people are saying. I beg to differ. Having a blog, or creating one, isn’t seeking attention. Facebook and twitter, where you ask people to follow you..now that is narcissism. “Hey follow me and see what I have been up to” meanwhile in the blogging world, you may give out your website link to some people but it’s up to them if they would read what’s on it. and depends on a blogger if one actually writes something worthwhile because I’ve encountered bloggers where they turn flood their blogs with “outfit for the day” in every possible pose they could think of, pictures of the food they ate.

  31. “actually, to defend ‘look at your blog isn’t it narcissism too’ that people are saying. I beg to differ. Having a blog, or creating one, isn’t seeking attention.”

    Yes, but look at THIS blog. If we managed to prove that God existed and it was sheylara, this site would still seem like a bit TOO much of a tribute. And she made it for herself.

    Seek help.

  32. Twitter and Facebook is corny now. Unless you are business networking or you have distant family, these social media tools are dulling this and the next generation. Boring people who brag like they are Jesus Christ but don’t have a speck of taste or class. It’s sad to be honest. I’m 25 and I have never or will I ever have a FB or twitter page. My friends can meet me at the lounge when I call them on my phone.

  33. I agree with sheylara and “H”. I always hated twitter and am 25 in a few months. I still think it is very stupid and just started using it a month ago; just for business. People say it is useful for BUSINESS…yada yada…so I decided to try it solely for submitting business related tweets. I still don’t understand twitter and think it is ridiculous.

    I couldn’t follow most people anyways, because the idea of twitter is still stupid to me. They have stupid rules like don’t aggressively follow people but the whole point is to FOLLOW PEOPLE. Still stupid. Rules are a little ridiculous.

    I hope twitter will become like myspace and become an afterthought but then some a/hole will try to conceptualize another social media website which perpetuates this neverending cycle where hordes of people ramble on about nothing.

    You keep getting random sporadic tweets pop up that mean nothing to you…I find twitter to be dumb and boring and pointless. I don’t care about peoples stupid pointless, brainless, random, rants about nothing. Why would I want to follow people just for that?!

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