Twitter, micro-networking and how trivial our lives really are
“So sleepy,” says my friend on Twitter. “Eating dinner,” says another. “Who cares,” thinks I who had just spent half an hour scrolling through friends' tweets. Today's internet revolution has indeed improved communication, and micronetworking ? a cross between social networking and blogging but constrained to 140 characters in the case of Twitter, is the best example of this communication revolution.
Though I am amazed at how Twitter has helped forward several social movements and uprisings such as those in Moldova, Iran, Tunisia and Egypt beween the years 2009-2011 and how it has become a medium of news where internationally relevant stories broke (such as the raid that led to Bin Laden's arrest in 2011), most times it's just a chore to read through updates. News accounts aside, Twitter users seem to be living on their own world. It's always about them, what they did, who they were with and what they had for dinner. Micronetworking sites have magnified and encouraged our innate inclination to be vain and selfish. We are the main character of our own lives, after all. We are protagonists of our own stories, and we need to update everyone of our actions.
This, perhaps, is the negative side of Twitter. Although it provides us with news and details on the go, when used abusively by vain friends, our Twitter feed will be nothing more than numerous vain thoughts of people ? thoughts that don't really need to be broadcasted. Yes, freedom of speech is what they call this “right” to broadcast what one feels, but too much freedom could be just as irritating as the lack thereof. There's an Internet slang quite fitting to describe such a situation: TMI, too much information.
Twitter, the leading micronetworking site, has made me realize how trivial and mundane people's lives really are. We try to perfume our actions with words when we tweet so our followers would think we're interesting. We tweet when we're in a party or out on social gatherings despite the fact that these events were meant to get people together and make them talk face-to-face, not to their gadgets. Yet here we are, taking photos of our dinner and tweeting about it all night long: a live coverage of a news unworthy event. What an irony that Twitter and other micronetworking sites were actually meant to encourage communication and not otherwise. Sadly, this is what's happening today: people communicating with and through their gadgets but not with each other.
Although Twitter has started a new, efficient and prompt way of communication - revolutionalizing it altogether - usage abuse also leads to information overload or misinformation, and deters real communication offline.