The Twitterverse: More Than Meets The Eye

It’s not hard to find people out there who feel compelled to ridicule Twitter.

Oh, that’s ok. Twitter isn’t for everyone. Great conversations sometimes appear in #disguise.

As far as social networks go Twitter is curiously one of the most misunderstood slices of popular Web culture. Twittering is for Tweeps —I mean, Tweeting is for Twits. Umm.. no, Tweeps are good, Twits are trivial —so we’re told.
I’ve met loads of people over the past few years who simply don’t “get it” or feel Tweeting is nothing more than a colossal waste of time.

Just witness this eloquent thrashing by Jim Schembri, pop-culture columnist for Australian newspaper, The Age:

The Twitterverse, in my view, is largely populated by idle minds seeking to engage in banal, repetitive discourse and revel in the cheap thrills derived from being crude, vulgar, ignorant and abusive.

Ouch! Ahh yes, but therein lies the charm! I wonder what Schembri, who goes by the cryptic Twitter handle @jimschembri incidentally, would think of the creative monstrosity that is Tumblr? No —don’t even think of perusing this or critiquing this. Leave the quirky left-field tangent memes to the creatively enlightened.

But imagine my surprise reading last Friday’s Globe & Mail, their resident technology expert questioning, “If Ashton [Kutcher] leaves, what will keep us on Twitter?” Oh, I almost burst out in spontaneous laughter —come on!! As though following @aplusk and other celebs keeps us all on Twitter. Yeah.

Amber MacArthur goes on to say, and I quote, third-party Twitter tools are the only thing keeping her on Twitter by making the non-stop stream of information somewhat manageable.

I find this statement perplexing, and funny. Why do so many of us, including the social media pundits, take Twitter so seriously? For all the non-stop streaming, crudely vulgar and ignorant content, there are equally engaging conversations to be had and quality bits to be shared. I’d say Twitter is a very real slice of life —unfiltered and usually quite raw. Take it or leave it. Yes, there’s a lot of crap as Amber Mac laments, but Twitter is also chalk full of informative, intelligent and funny feeds, if you know where to go looking. While some of us see the intrinsic value, others vehemently dismiss the Twitterverse as a forum for idiotic psychobabble. Participation isn’t mandatory, in any case, but for God’s sake, use lists or suffer the consequences of feed-fatigue!