Twitter haters and why they hate

Earlier this year, Twitter CEO Biz Stone told New York magazine that “[Twitter] is about the triumph of the human spirit.”

I want to believe this. I really do. I enjoy tweeting and reading the random and funny musings of friends (for the most part) and the occasional stranger. I’m convinced that tweeting is the closest thing I will ever experience to “celebrity”-dom. It’s your very own virtual paparazzi where a bunch of eyes (somewhere out there) are tracking your every move and thought. (Or at least I hope so or else we’re all just shouting into a deep, black abyss aren’t we?)

At the same time, I know a majority of the material on Twitter is – to put it kindly – unimpressive. It’s not profound, it’s not meaningful, and I really think it’s the furthest thing from a “triumph of the human spirit.” (And if it is – well, I don’t think I need to say we’re all in a whole lot of trouble.)

But hey, I think it’s fine to dabble in the Twitter-verse for personal entertainment periodically throughout the day. Like the old adage goes, “Everything in moderation.”

Even so, amongst the mainstream who sing Twitter’s praises I’ve discovered a rare breed of hardcore Twitter haters out there. And I’m not talking about people who are frustrated when Twitter’s server goes down for the 26th time because of security fails. Nor are they Tweeters who want to voice a few qualms or complaints with the network. Nor are they people who just don’t get it and see no point in it thus don’t sign up to use it. They don’t fall into any of these groupings because at the end of the day – all of the people above still login to their accounts and keep tweeting.

No, I’m referring to Twitter haters who go beyond just thinking “Twitter sucks.” These haters avoid using the social network. They have thought deep, long and hard about Twitter and have all reached the same existential conclusion: Twitter is leading to humanity’s social downfall.

They loathe the cute little blue bird and everything it stands for.

[Digression: There is a website called twittersucks.com... I'm not sure what it's purpose is. From the looks of it, the site seems to be a compilation of tweets people posted of twitter sucking. Literally most of the posts say "twitter sucks." One of the more creative examples is "yo yo yo. twitter sucks!" ... Enough said.]

According to Gartner’s hype cycle (which accompanies the introduction of any new technology), it seems that Twitter haters reside in the “trough of disillusionment.” Looking at the cycle though, it seems that these haters are inevitably destined to eventually plateau to a more symbiotic neutral state with Twitter – perhaps not hate it so much. Maybe even like it. (However some are so strongly against Twitter that I’d argue they’re completely off the chart.)

Courtesy of Wikipedia, hype cycle

Courtesy of Wikipedia, hype cycle

Now I’m sure you’re wondering – Who are these remarkable Twitter haters?

#1) Ann Bibby: Bibby gave Twitter the benefit of the doubt. She tested it – twice. And then concluded that it could possibly be a sign of the impending apocalypse. As a writer, she loves words and reading, hence anything that promotes shorthand and writing avoidance is the enemy. She admits to loathing cellphones and texting too. Below is an excerpt of her thoughts on Twitter:

“… I love words on the page. Words on the screen. 140 characters might enthrall Japanese teenagers addicted to cellphone novels, but I have better things to do. There is writing and reading that needs to be done. Thoughts and tales with depth and passion to be discovered. Where is that in a tweet? Anything that adds to the sound bite short attention span theatre that life has become cannot be a good thing.”

#2) Grayson Davis: A self-professed internet lover, Davis presents a philosophical and well-thought argument on why Twitter’s very existence undermines our otherwise sensible and progressive society with trivial BS. He reserves his hatred solely for the network and not the users who he compares to the “average sixteenth century peasant [who believed] that the sun revolve[d] around the earth”:

“… My position on Twitter is one of utmost composure and cool reason. I simply believe it is the worst thing happening in the world right now. I believe that the once great dream of an Internet with honest-to-god content has been lost. If modern web design means that breaking news comes through Twitter in between “Mm, a BLT” and “@tweetfan22 I had macaroni too!” then I want no part in the Internet of tomorrow. Just leave me be and I will return to Web 1.0 and publish through GeoCities.”

#3) Ben Tao: Probably the most intense hater out of the group. Tao hates Twitter in part because it’s so popular and he even created a graph illustrating this concept:

“… The more I hear about Twitter the more I hate it.  When Twitter first came out, I was cool with it because no one was talking about it.  About six months ago, I started noticing a few more people talking about it, mildly annoying, but bearable.  Now complete strangers come up to me and say “You need to be on Twitter,”  it has passed from Annoying to Full on Hatred.”

For the record, he also hates Miley Cyrus, the Macarena and broccoli.

#4) Russell Scott: He cites Twitter as just another move society is making to avoid the lost art of in-person conversation. We’re just trying to make things move even faster, and according to Scott, it doesn’t seem to be that promising:

“… I tried to read other people’s ‘tweets.’  I learned that everyone in the Twitterverse is at least as boring as I am, if not more so. No offense. I learned who was going to breakfast, whose car was low on oil; who was feeling blue. I felt even more disconnected, because I honestly didn’t care.  I was alone in a sea of chatter. I, a normally chatty person, suddenly had nothing to say. I felt like John Wayne at the end of the movie where he stands in the doorway of the house, then turns, and slowly walks back into the wilderness.  Well, actually I felt shorter and less confident than John Wayne, but just as rejected by civilization.”

Russell Scott eventually ponders whether Twitter will eventually be replaced by something else that is even more glitzy and addictive?

Apparently the “nano”-blogging creators of “Flutter” read his mind:

Finally, if you’d like to join the Twitter Hater bandwagon, then keep up with news on “Twitter Backlash” which periodically posts articles on how Twitter is bad for society and our personal development. For example, the most recent post discusses how Twitter decreases intelligence by weakening our “working memory.”

It seems I’ll have to work on cutting back my Twitter time.

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4 Comments on “Twitter haters and why they hate”

  1. Chancellor D Says:

    I have to admit, I am impartial to twitter. But I can understand why people would “hate” it. It’s just like every other new fad that we’ve seen over the last few decades: it’s known to only a select few at first, but once it reaches the mainstream, it explodes. Myspace, facebook, and even Pokemon are examples that illustrate this fact. I think people who claim to “hate” twitter are really just those who can’t stand anything that’s in the mainstream. Once twitter settles into the “Plateau of Productivity,” (as the hype cycle indicates), I’m sure those haters will fade away, because Twitter won’t be considered “what’s hot” anymore!

    P.S. Great read, as always Vickster! Your articles never cease to amaze ;)

  2. Deb Says:

    Ernest Hemingway is arguably one of the best American authors that ever breathed. He loved the 6-word short story and felt that a few meaningful words could tell a greater tale than a novel.

    For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.

    He considered it to be among his best stories ever told.


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