Am I The Only One Exhausted By Twitter?

I try to me a man of the times, albeit of the “quickly aging/hell in a bucket” variety.  I have my vices (whiskey, salty snacks, pedal steel guitar music and the objectification of c1expensive trucks and all those half-dressed Russian women on Instagram) and I have my ekaterina zuevadevices–the newly acquired bad-ass desktop computer (because laptop keyboards are too small for my sausage-sized fingers, and sometimes you just can’t say no to a big old desktop monitor and 2.5 TB of Itunes music, downloaded internet images, saved emails and personal photographs). There is also a slick Samsung notepad that is great for road trips, digital literature, and the morning visit to the bathroom. I’m just not the dustbowl luddite some folks seem to think I am.

Much to the approval of my family, not to mention the shocked amazement of old friends, I also recently acquired my very first smart phone. It wasn’t really by choice. As my children approached graduation, the old land line phone started to ring incessantly, mostly with universities and colleges, but increasingly with telemarketers, unidentified robo-calls, offers of credit card refinancing (although I don’t use credit cards), free cruises and trips  to the Caribbean, and those guys call from “the imagestech support” who desperately need to access my computer to fix a terrible problem I’d yet to realize. (Nice try, guys, really).

It was time for the land line to go, and time for me to put a little effort into 1.) keeping my phone not only charged, but turned on, and 2) actually knowing where my phone is at any particular moment and carrying it around with me, and 3.) actually answering it when it makes noises.

Those noises were the tricky part. My kids fixed it up so I can access all my social media–a well-meant job, though frustrating when I realized that every web site has a different website for android, requiring and entirely fresh learning process. And it is loud. The indexdamn thing is constantly chirping and clucking with notifications, and while I could turn them off, I am trying to be more engaged with the modern world. The grumpy, contrarian, stubborn technophobe isn’t really who I am–although I’m frustrated by the constant, and usually gratuitous, upgrades and changes of our technology,  I love the access to opinion, art, literature, and thought provided by the age of the internet. I’m entranced by Instagram, beguiled by Facebook and the connectivity it gives me to friends and family despite world-weary teenagers regularly telling me “Facebook is over.” (Kids: keep the commentary to yourselves; your wisdom is just as deep as your wardrobe choices are appealling. You may be the future, but I’m still the present, and if you sneer at me again I’m going to embarrass you in front of your friends with a fierce and until now unanticipated grace and fury.

Of all the social media, Twitter is the format I just can’t seem to abide. While I’ll be the first to praise its unrivaled value in the transmission and early coverage of breaking news, I’ve written elsewhere about the derogatory effect that Tweet-based communication and culture, which are purposefully superficial, projects onto our culture. For a while, when it seemed that a significant portion of young people were gleaning their news from Twitter, I feared for the future.  Occasional profundity through brevity is stomped on by the obscene lack of nuance.  One needs only think of Donald Trump and his one word proclamations.  “Sad.” and “Corrupt.” Declarative proclamations punctuating venal opinion stated as fact, as parodied here:
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I am confident that Trump owes his rise as much to the trend of news as infotainment, and the era of putting page hits ahead of integrity in media. I would go further by saying that in a world without Twitter, Donald Trump would not be the phenomena that he is today,  not only because it is an ideal platform for his simplistic, unformed rants and half-formed “policy” but because the very nature of Twitter has prepared us to accept such.

Just as frustrating is the inherent chaos of Twitter–in order to keep up with even my modest list of a few hundred followed Tweeters  (far less than my “follows” on WordPress), constant vigilance is essential lest I fall hopelessly behind and miss an actually interesting post. I don’t have time for it, and miss far more than I see.  Adding insult to an already difficult task are the serial retweeters who place hit counts over quality. You know, the ones who show up throughout the day with two dozen or more re-tweets in a row? Is selectivity no longer a thing? Is liking a post not enough?

It is little wonder to me that Twitter is supposedly twitching and and gasping on life support. Unless one has no life outside a device, or a life so dry and quiet that one can devote significant attention to scrolling the tsunami of static roaring across the Twitter feed, the format is a mess. The only value I find in it is that other folks, with seemingly more time, energy, and resources than I, somehow find a way to sift through the detritus for rare clumps of value which they can package for the rest of us to consider and enjoy as I did with the faux Trump quote above.  As far as its value in carrying my own words to readers, I rate it as a few rungs higher than attaching notes to balloons and releasing them into the wind.

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About JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.
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12 Responses to Am I The Only One Exhausted By Twitter?

  1. HA! says:

    lol that was a good read. I too am confounded by Twitter, I am on there but… I may not be “getting it”. It’s all good, I have stuff to do, art to make… you made me laugh and now I know… I’m not the only one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ZenLikeFuck says:

    Oh this reminds me of my parents and their initial struggle with smart phones, their absolute disgust for the ‘filth’ on Facebook and instagram. But now they’re well adjusted to the virtual world. All’s well that ends well. I had a good laugh with this post. Don’t use Twitter much, it’s just blown-out-of-proportion news. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amanda Lyle says:

    Haha! You’re certainly not the only one. I, too, struggle with Twitter… I’m on it, but I’m not… If you get what I mean. I click on it, scroll through a sea of crazy, over-the-top tweets and rapidly click off it. 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  4. joey says:

    I can’t bear the notification noises of anything. I shut those off pretty quickly.

    I actually LOVE Twitter. Funny Twitter makes me LOL every single day. I love it. I will admit there’s a learning curve, and most of it depends on who you choose to follow, but I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Twitter helps me get rid of all the detritus which floats around in my mind on a regular basis. Plus, I do get a kick out of some tweeters. It took me awhile to get the hang of it, but I have tons more followers on Twitter than I’ll ever have on WP. I have a few followers from Twitter who have read my stuff, but probably only a couple read on a regular basis.

    I still have a love/hate relationship with social media in general. Basically, they are all just forms of self-feeding for narcissists in my opinion. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, by the way, you can turn off people’s retweets on Twitter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aiza Belle says:

    Haha relatable. Back in the era when I got addicted to Tumblr, I loved Twitter. Now I already stopped using it and can’t believe it’s still thriving when business-wise, it’s on the red.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. jilldennison says:

    I’m with you … I despise Twitter and some days I threaten to throw my “smart” phone through the window! I am considering a return to slate, chisel and abacus! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wild Days says:

    Can’t argue with you. But I still find myself scrolling mindlessly through endless tweets when no National Geographic is within reach.

    Liked by 1 person

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