Saturday, March 21, 2009

Killing Twitter by Hand

I decided tonight at long last to completely shut down my Twitter account, due to a few stories in the news.

I signed in to my account, clicked on the remove account button, but got a little pop-up window saying how the system was just way too hectic and couldn't grant my request right now.

I realize my mom and dad are reading this blog, but I am going to break my no swearing rule and call bullshit on this crap piece of software.

A few months back, I put up a message about the TV show Mad Men. Soon after, I found that I was being followed by peggyolson and bettydraper. Not the actresses Elizabeth Moss and January Jones, but the characters, whose lives are currently on the show are taking place in a fictionalized version of 1962, a secretary turned copywriter and a bored and unhappy housewife. At the time I considered this creepy and decided not to follow them back, and I hoped that if this was being done as some sort of guerilla marketing for the show, that the people spending time putting messages on the Twitter site claiming to be characters from the show were at least getting paid.

Now comes the news that Keith Olbermann is on Twitter, and he has many followers, as one might expect of a celebrity.

Except he's not on Twitter. Someone has set up a false account with his name and picture. He's asked Twitter to shut the account down and they have refused.

It just make sense. Since people can post as fictional characters from TV shows, why shouldn't they be allowed to pretend they are celebrities? If people are silly enough to think they are actually following a celebrity, it's their own damn fault for being so naive, right?

Since I couldn't just close my account, instead I sent a last message, stopped following everyone on my list and blocked everyone following me. If Twitter sends a message to any of my blog buddies about this, and as I recall that includes FranIAm, Lisa and Mathman, Spotchy, CDP and the author of The OtherWhirled, I hope you see this blog post and understand I mean no offense.

I just hate Twitter, not any of y'all.


sfmike said...

Interesting. The last post I read was by East Bay resident Richard Friedman who has a mostly classical music site called "All I Know" where he declares he's leaving Facebook forever and as fast as he can. I believe he had some of the same Twittery issues as you.

Social networking sites on the intertubes have always given me the creeps, to tell you the truth, and I've never joined any of them. Craigslist is fine because it tends to bring together people who are interested in a specific act, whether it be meaningless sex, selling a sofa, trading tickets to "Wicked," or hiring an employee for a specific job. The same is true of sites where people are engaged in a communal interest or activity. Otherwise, you're just asking for the Nigerian con artists to come after you.

FranIAm said...

Matty I doubt that you could ever offend me.

I loved reading this post because of the perspective it brings forth. It is an understatement to say that I respect you... so know that one of the things I love about you is how you do illuminate things I know I might not think about much.

Twitter has been a struggle for me, I just don't get it. I do keep trying though... and after reading this I am not sure why. Which is not to say I will stop because of your words, but rather than they made me stop and think about the whole matter.

For this and so much more, I think the world of you, whether you follow me or not.

Now I am off to ponder one of the things that is important to me - the shadow side as well as the light of this circumstance. Things are rarely all good or all bad, this is my passion to ponder.

You have brought forth the shadow with clarity. Thank you.

Matty Boy said...

sfmike: Excellent points about Craigslist and communal sites. Usenet groups still exist and I was a regular contributor to some of them maybe 10 to 20 years ago. I don't know how much they have faded, but they are still text only, so not as high tech as other parts of the 'Net. Just as I met you first online and then we became pals face to face, I made real world friends both in the giantess admirer community and on a newsgroup named alt.obituaries, where the acceptable topics are recently deceased celebrities and famous people who are rumored to be on death's door. A strange set of topics, I'll admit, but it does make for an actual community.

Fran: Like you, I never used Twitter much, even when I was trying. I don't have a cell phone so I'm not a texter by habit, and I prefer to write things where I'm not limited to 140 characters, and I also prefer to read things which are not so limited.

CDP said...

I like Twitter because it's my way out of Facebook. I like that it's just quick observations and status updates. That said, I have to agree that the Olbermann thing is an outrage, and like you, I found the Mad Men thing more than a little icky. I like to text, so Twitter's a natural thing for me, but I get why people don't like it. And you couldn't possibly offend me.

Mathman6293 said...

No offense taken, I have other things from other places that will most definately offend. No worries.

Anonymous said...

I had people write me of their discontent so I didn't bother with Twitter. Seems they are already dying on the vine.

Matty Boy said...

I'm not sure they are dying. I think it may be an age specific thing.

BobManDo said...

Matty, Here is the best and most humorous take on Twitter that I've seen... A preview to a new tv show.
You'll love it as you leave it. "Trouble with Twitters"

Diane said...

this post is spooky....I signed up for twitter mostly because of Stephen Fry, who is on twitter (but then again, maybe he's not).

but I don't use it much, either. I don't have a cell phone, which might explain this.

and I can't imagine why anyone would care to follow me, really.