Can someone explain this to me?
How is it that the very same people who loudly proclaim that Twitter is a “waste of time” and that much of what people Tweet about is “pointless babble” (thanks to some researchers who somehow think they found a way to objectively measure pointlessness in other people’s lives – it’s 40%, by the way) can walk into the office on a Monday morning and discuss the weekend weather – which we all experienced and wasn’t particularly unusual – for ten minutes straight?
Is it made pointful just by virtue of the fact that we are face-to-face? Because honestly, it’s a whole lot easier to skim right past Tweets that are less-than-interesting than it is to pretend I care about someone’s face-to-face monologue about the weather.
I’ve said this before and I might just say it again because it is so so obvious and yet appears to be completely overlooked: think about what you talk about with your best friend over lunch, with your mom on the phone, with your partner at the dinner table. Think about what the teenagers next to you on the bus were talking about today, and what you and your neighbor said when you were out walking your dogs or taking the kids to the park. Now tell me that at least 40% of it wouldn’t be categorized as “pointless babble”, at least by number crunchers.
Twitter is simply a different medium. If your “pointless babble” quotient goes higher than my tolerance level, I will stop following you – just like I’d stop going out to lunch with you if I knew you in real life.
In my experience, it is no more pointless than any other communication mode, and quite often brings more information and insight than face-to-face conversations due to the 140 character limitation. For another opinion, read this great post called “Why Twitter isn’t Pointless Babble” by Chris Matyszczyk at Technically Incorrect.
And, Wonderfriends? The very notion that someone thinks they can measure pointlessness in someone else’s life and conversations strikes me as the very worst kind of snobbery.