Monday, September 14, 2009

Forgive me if I’m still twitchy about tweeting

I was listening to a bit of Lindy Burn on the way to supermarket last night, admittedly shagged after producing about 14 pages of the double issue during the day (applause all 'round for that massive achievement). Maybe my fatigue prompted my worry at hearing the discussion about how a 'tweet' from journalist and blogger, Mia Freedman, about a narcoleptic Dachshund had inspired a war of words via The Australian newspaper. See here to read the original story.

Basically Mia made light fun of YouTube footage of a sausage dog collapsing asleep while running across a backyard. A journo at The Oz, whose son suffers from narcolepsy, took umbridge, was heart-broken and shocked really, and wrote a huge tome in response with the headline, Tweet this, Mia: the misfortune of others isn't entertainment.

The details of this actual story don't interest me that much. Not here and now anyway. What does interest me is the conversation between Lindy and her on-air commentator, whose name I never caught (bad journo, bad ... but I had to skedaddle and get the steaks and red wine - it's about priorities people!).

Basically the two women went on and on about the hoardes of journalists and 'commentators' who are obsessed/addicted to Twitter and how, once you start using it, you are so prolific and so speedy that there really is no time for thoughtful processes, for reflection and meditation, the weighing up of facts, the educated pursuit of ideas and opinions. Oftentimes, it seems, you Tweet before you think.

Oh I am scared! This is what I constantly bang on about. History is peopled with great minds, people who really took a step back from the hurly burly and thought about things. Are we on the brink of losing that kind of tempered and intelligent thinking, educated/informed analysis and commentary forever? It’s seeping into every sphere ‘til we have the best selling music artists (Britney Spears) saying things like, “I don't really have time to sit down and write. But when I think of a melody, I call up my answering machine and sing it, so I won't forget it.” Yeah, that’s how The Rolling Stones probably wrote their classics.

I am not one of the great thinkers. We all know that! But I kind of count on there being some others out there who fit the bill. If George Bush was in office still he'd probably be Twittering. It sounds like the kind of thing he'd get into. Then, with a couple of key strokes, he'd have the USA in some new type of violent scandal.
Of course I did find a poseur with his name on Twitter and his latest comment was: "i can write boobies on a calculator!" Probably not far from the truth.
Are thousands of journos and commentators obsessed by Twitter? The woman with Lindy said she personally tweeted constantly throughout the day, in her office while doing seven other things. Great! A new form of multi tasking but one that may further undermine the evolution of the human mind.

I haven't taken care of my mind. For God's sake, I'm blogging! Thing is ... soon I am going to be in the brain dead majority ... and I had such high hopes for mankind.


Patsyfox said...

I personally don't get the "twitter thing", although I admit I do have a twitter page (look it up if you're having trouble sleeping). I have probably made 3 highly lame twitters in the 2 months since starting it, which I did following the always-correct advice of my unofficial coach Lily. You see it's all about your google profile, brand building, etc etc, get it? But come on - 140 characters?? I can't order my lunch with only that many characters!
Give me the agonised-over, overanalyzed musings any day.

Senta said...

For a minute there, I thought I was reading an article from a more intelligent version of the Sex In The City lead character. Why? Well, tone of voice. And apart from the snappy and entertaining writing - it has lots of questions and plenty of views. Tweeting? Not interested at all myself. Can barely keep up with a phone and email - let alone text! (I even had to write this on my wife's gmail account). Back to the point - I agree we need time for reflection and considered thought. It shouldn't be the luxury that most of us have come to assume. However my actions indicate being more a fan of constant movement. And this perspective of “the need for speed”, has more than occasionally lead me to find at least one foot in my mouth.
And Jaq - I think you are a great thinker - yet to truly discover your own magnificence.

Mrs Underhill said...

Well Mr Senta, how nice to hear from you. If you added TWEETING to your repertoire the Police would probably use it to track you down. On the other hand, savvy marketers of good food and wine could use your Tweets to endorse their product. Ohh. See. Shhhh. A great idea. Let's use it.

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