Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thrawn Shoots the Tweety Bird

SCAVENGER HUNT: You have found my rant about twitter, the site/service I said I totally hate, and am not a mamber of. Worse, I'm running a contest through it to gain more follows. Irony. Your final prize number is 0.

CONGRATS! If you've now found all six prize numbers, send them to @ThrawnOmega via a Twitter DIRECT MESSAGE for your shot at 4,000 microsoft points!

Yes, it's real. Sorry Silva, I had to finish this and get it out. I'll post yours as soon as I see it.

WARNING: Thrawn HATES Twitter with a burning, zealous passion. Twitter makes Thrawn want to punch babies. If profanity offends you, don't read this post! (This may be the only time you read Thrawn swearing up a storm... Thrawn wants to HULK SMASH Twitter) Twitter is so evil, it makes Thrawn write warnings in which he writes about himself in third person! THE HORROR! THE HORROR!!!

Thrawn on Twitter: Twitter is, frankly, the dumbest fucking idea I've ever heard of. The obsession with which some people participate in "tweeting" boggles my mind, and every time I hear an established entity like CNN calling us a "Twitter-based society" or asking us to follow them on Twitter, I break out in sudden, explosive projectile vomiting. My brother won't sit across the dinner table from me any more, as he's often the victim of such attacks. As an English major, and a lifelong writer, Twitter is anathema to everything that I stand for.

Twitter, for the three people in the world who haven't heard of it (GOD BLESS YOU!) is a website where you can send out short text messages (under 150-160 characters or something like that) to let your friends, family, or 1,000,000 anonymous strangers know what you're doing RIGHT THE FUCK NOW.

To answer the question of why the hell anyone would want to use Twitter, I turn to the site's own language:

Why? Because even basic updates are meaningful to family members, friends, or colleagues—especially when they’re timely.

* Eating soup? Research shows that moms want to know.
* Running late to a meeting? Your co–workers might find that useful.
* Partying? Your friends may want to join you. (from Twitter)

Let me take these point by point:

1. If you mom cares about what you're eating, she should come down to the basement and check. Your mom doesn't care! Stop wasting your time Tweeting about soup and eat your soup!

2. Running late to a meeting? In these situations, isn't it polite to actually CALL your coworkers to let them know you're late? Do you really want to let everyone who 'follows' you to know you can't make it to a meeting on time? What will really happen is coworkers will see that you 'Tweeted' you status and think "Oh, that fucker's tardy AND too lazy to call."

3. Nothing good can come from this. Maybe I'm crazy, but I like actually knowing and having some control over how comes to my parties.

Now, let's take a look at what Twitter says about HOW to use it:

With Twitter, you can stay hyper–connected to your friends and always know what they’re doing. Or, you can stop following them any time. You can even set quiet times on Twitter so you’re not interrupted.

Twitter puts you in control and becomes a modern antidote to information overload. (from Twitter)

When I read the second bolded statement to Silva over a party chat, he laughed out loud. He gets it. The irony is thick and pretty damn obvious. Do I even need to explain it? Really? Okay, for the two people who missed the irony:

TWITTER IS THE SOURCE OF INFORMATION OVERLOAD! The idea that Twitter's bombardment of asinine text messages is a cure for information overload is like trying to cure a cancer patient by giving them AIDS. You're spinning the poison as the cure, and I'm laughing my ass off.

Now, let's talk about this idea of being hyper-connected to your friends. I really can't think of anything worse. What about some privacy? Would your friends really care that you took an epic shit this morning? Does anyone care that the line you're in for a latte seems never-ending? I don't want my friends to always know what I'm doing, and I don't want to know what they are doing. If I do, that's what phone calls, emails, or physically meeting with people are for. Are Twitter text messages even personal? Really? It seems to me more like a way to "keep in touch" with friends without actually... you know... keeping in touch.

Why is Twitter so popular? I think it has everything to do with obsessive cravings for immediate gratification, and it banks on people's self-centeredness. "I Tweet, therefore someone cares." It's natural to want attention, but Twitter isn't the way to go about getting some, as it's short-lived and without substance. So you cat jumped in your lap... big freaking deal. I just sneezed... I'm not going to "Tweet" it to the world. Twitter is the favored tool of talentless has-beens like Aston Kutcher, or generic manufactured pop stars (Miley Cyrus) who know their days in the limelight are numbered, and thus they use Twitter to try to cling to every last shred of cultural relevance for as long as they possibly can. And millions of people let them do it... We even have people who "tweet" on behalf of their cats, or as fictional characters... come on!

Nothing of importance has ever been said via Twitter. I abso-fucking-lutely guarantee that. Twitter is a haven for lazy people who can't write but like to pretend that they can, and people who enjoy pretensions of literacy. Seriously... if something is worth saying, take the time to SAY it. And the laziness is spreading to people who should really know better... I mean, Twitter is being used a a source of "legitimate" hard news now.


I'm too lazy to do a search for examples (and I dread the results), but you've all seen it. Something breaks on Twitter, and then its all over the news. Shit on sports stars, Sarah Palin endured a Twitter induced flak storm during the last campaign, and lately we've seen game companies using Twitter to get news out to the idiot masses faster. Apparently, press releases, interviews, and the like are too time consuming. Yes, I realize how effective this is. I just gag at the idea of people needing to be spoon-fed info. I still go to news sites, and developer pages for my info. Twitter can go drink some lead-based paint.

There have been times where I've considered creating a Twitter account just to be ironic, and fill it with stupid bullshit, but every time I've tried my nose has started bleeding and dripping all over the keyboard. When anyone asks whose blood it is, I just say I caught Sabre (or my friend Tim "Helen" Keller... I know where you work buddy) using Twitter on my PC (you didn't think I'd spare you, did you? =P)

If I can be a grammar Nazi for a minute, nobody who uses twitter can type. They really can't. I've seen such poor grammar and typing on Twitter its amazing anyone who uses it actually got through first grade. Three cheers for social promotion, right? I'm no language purist by any means, I often make up words for fun, but I fear for us all when we let "tweeting" become a fucking verb. Another similar example, "Facebooking" is already a verb in too-common usage.


A: "What are you doing?"
B. "I'm Facebooking."

A. "When is the party?"
B. "I'll Facebook you the info."

Add to this that "w00t" is in the dictionary (yes, they even put in the fucking zeros), and I'd say the damage is already irreparable. We're one generation from regressing to the point that our children merely grunt and fling shit at each other with one hand while tweeting from their cell phones on the other. May God have mercy on us all.

What can you do if you use Twitter? Like recovering from substance abuse, addictions, or pyromania, the first step is to admit you have a problem, and seek help. English teachers seem to be the best therapists right now, as right now there is no Twitter Addicts Anonymous. Recovery consists of a steady diet of reading books, and writing at least one page a day (on any subject) using complete sentences and proper grammar, until recovery has been reached. Remember, like with alcoholism, it may be hard to stay on the wagon, but it's necessary for your long-term mental health.


  1. You know what I think? I reckon because of the background (English Major right?) you dismissed the idea of Twitter straight away and have never given it a chance. First I must say I agree with a lot of points but ultimately the pros outweigh the cons and I therefore use it. I can't be bothered to argue with you but I'll express my opinion on a view of your criticisms, just to maybe make you think again.

    So the first bit you moaned about was people twittering about every little thing they do. I have to agree with you here as plenty of tweets I read are not interesting and were a waste of my time reading them. I do believe people tweet way too much in a day and should cut it down to interesting news instead of what they just ate for lunch.

    Your next point is just a simple personal taste. As it happens people do like to know if someone is in a massive queue or whatever, my girlfriend for one is especially nosey so it's interesting news to her if for whatever reason her friend won't be coming out tonight because she has a cold. As you said yourself you don't want your friends to know what your doing, plenty of other people do.

    Finally it needs to be said that in my opinion the best reason to use Twitter is to follow your idols. Yes plenty of them have MySpace accounts and whatever but Twitter is able to put the thoughts and comments of all the people you admire in to one simple easy to read page. As a huge skateboarding fan I've always admired Tony Hawk, now I get to learn more about his lifestyle and what he gets up to in a day by reading his tweets. Did he just nearly break his back trying to do his first ever backflip (true story from couple months ago)? Yes, I knew instantly. I take it you read auto-biographies and stuff right? Twitter is the same in a more relaxed friendly approach (a big book with lots of words puts me off).

    Anyway I'll stop now. Ultimately I think Twitter is a fantastic way for me to learn more about professional skateboarders lives which I may never have found out about otherwise. I don't really follow my friends because I am like you and don't really care when they are in a queue, I would care if Tony Hawk was.

  2. I'd just like to make note of the Google context-based ads for "Compulsive Sexual Behavior help" and "Hypnosis or weight loss"... I find that highly amusing.

    Furthermore, while, yes, I use Twitter, I use it like a sane human being.
    In the same manner that sending a text message does not mean one has to use improper grammar, spelling, or the like, Twitter does not mean one is prohibited from using proper language fundamentals.
    I just thought I would like to make that point clear.

    -Tim "Not Helen" Keller

  3. Oh and finally, before I forget, just remember that many people thought (and some still think) that e-mail, social networking, text messaging, and yes, even blogs, would be the downfall of the English language as we know it.

    Thus far, there have been no major consequences or language deficiencies as a result of these modes of communication (that I am aware of).

    Why is Twitter the devil? (so to speak)

    [Playing "devil's" advocate, as I do best. :-) ]