Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I don’t tweet.
Years ago I got a Twitter account because I wanted to see how it worked, and of course you can’t rummage around in Twitter without an account. I got a few followers right away (people with nothing better to do, I guess), but I never tweeted one syllable, so there my account sits, gathering digital dust.
It’s not the priceless Congressman Anthony Weiner who makes me glad I don’t tweet, although if I got a tweet of his crotch, I would never touch my smart phone again. No, it’s more the everyday, ordinary tweets I run across at work.
KPBS’s Midday Edition, of course, has a Twitter account (@KPBSMidday), as does everyone in the newsroom. We tweet who our guests are, and if they say something newsworthy or particularly interesting, we tweet some more. But it’s an odd, unsatisfying kind of communication because nobody ever answers. Someone re-tweeting your tweet is the best you can expect.
Instead, we get random tweets from those we are following -- cryptic messages from other media outlets and public radio shows doing the same thing we are doing. We get a lot of random, symbol-laden quasi-sentences of glee or triumph or invitations to events we wouldn’t attend on a bet. (However, just now, as I was writing this, Liam Dillon of VoiceofSanDiego.org tweeted that Kevin Faulconer endorsed Bonnie Dumanis for Mayor, a piece of news that some might think weakens this case I am busy making. Nevertheless, I will carry on.)
Late in the day after our show has aired, I see a sea of Macs displaying Tweet Decks full of messages that I assume my colleagues understand and perhaps even value. But I can’t help thinking that Twitter is taking us all for a ride. I think people who tweet are sure they are doing actual work, connecting with a group of people who await their tweeted wisdom. But perhaps all we really have with Twitter is the perception that we are connected – and connecting.
I actually think it’s all a crotch – I mean a crock.