By Sarah Keating
Elm Staff Writer
Sitting in the airport, my 83-year-old grandmother leans over and asks my sister what a Blackberry is. My sister, assuming my grandmother is “pop culture illiterate,” proceeds to describe the fruit. However, our ever impressive Granny had been inquiring about name dropping phenomena’s such as text messaging, iPhones, and Lady Gaga. I sat there, biting my tongue, waiting for her to bring up Twitter, because I knew that it was going to be hard one to explain.
So when my mother asked me what a Twitter was and if tweeting had anything to do with bird conservation, I thought long and hard of the best way to explain this strangely addicting, voluntary violation of privacy (This is the same mother who is a personal safety stickler, refuses to get a Facebook and snaps at register clerks who ask for her zipcode.) I explain that Twitter was like constantly standing on a rooftop and shouting out what you feel or what you think and then listening to 200 other people, celebrity, stores, and iconic websites shouting out the same. And that shouting out process can happen numerous times an hour, just depending on whose listening.
Staring at me perplexed, she almost laughed, “why would anyone be constantly interested in the hourly break down of someone else’s life?” I look back at her with an even more perplexed look, raising my eyebrows and saying back in a sassy tone, “I mean who wouldn’t want to know my every thought? Each one is definitely a gem.”
I have come to the conclusion that the concept of Twitter is lost on those who don’t find amusement with their own lives. So when those anti-Tweeters say things like, “I don’t understand the point of constantly updating everyone on my personal status. Its not like I am a celebrity or anything. And why would I want some many people ‘following’ me. You do know that following is synonymous with stalking right?” I just chuckle to myself and realize that these potentially paranoid people are counter culture to this generation’s Age of Individualism.
Just like unattractive abstract art, Twitter is a way of expressing yourself that provides a way to analyze your current personal situation in 140 characters or less. Like when something so comment-able happens, that you just want to tell everyone. For example: Over the holiday break, I went to buy a new purse and the women at the registrar asked me when my baby was due. Apparently the purse was actually a diaper bag.
I love Twitter not only because its an application in my Smartphone downloads folder, but because it leads me to believe the false impression that there are people beyond my boyfriend who actually care what I am doing. I think Twitter will become a trademark trend of the time. But like any trend, there are always those who butcher it.
Butchered trends, like obese women wearing belly shirts in the nineties, can also be applied to those who misuse Twitter. Those tweets that take up an entire minified and consist of the same person tweeting the same idea. For example “im so0o0o0o0 bored” followed up 4 minutes later with “stilllllllll booorrreedd”. With tweets like that you better beef up your creativity for fear of losing your followers. No one wants TMI on a boring person.
Since my grandmother calls a calculator a computer and owns neither, I doubt she will be tweeting anytime soon. However at this point in technological social progression, I predict something along the lines of live video hologram feeds. I can’t think of a better way to fully stalk someone.
Volume LXXXI Issue 15