lovehate: Twitter Play-By-Play

Really? No, I'm seriously sitting in awe here.

I get that people are pumped up for this US election, and while I swore I wouldn't do another lovehate rant on elections, this is not so much on the elections as what people are doing while the election is happening: twittering... REALLY?

Are we so starved for social intercourse that we are willing to snippet snipe about red state/blue state maps and exit polls? Sure there's reason for commentary about several things to do with an election. Discuss the results and potential impact of how the country has once again been split down the middle and wax electoral about policy shifts and the economy. Engage in dialectic and diatribe about how pundits and media have sullied the political process. Deride Wolf Blitzer, Sean Hannity and Keith Olbermann. Criticize the networks for declaring winners based on exit polls before everyone has even voted. Type insight. Type observation. Be bold and above all, complete your thoughts, because while I encourage all bloggers to express themselves, I wish they would do so with well-developed ideas that went on for longer than 140 characters.

While I obviously have an affection for Twitter, and appreciate the role microblogging has occupied in the social networking community, I can honestly not think of one of the many great people I follow that would prompt me to spend the night in front of a browser window watching pithy comments like "Wow, how about that Ohio map!" I'm more interested in hearing about what Ramen noodle seasoning people are using while channel surfing.

All respect to the power bloggers and Web 2.0 gurus who's followers will hang on every word of their Twitter,, Plurk, or Pownce election coverage. If you've got followers that want to know what you think on a minute by minute basis, you've done a hell of a job in consolidating a loyal following who will hang on your every word. and, for bloggers, followers are currency. You've established a community that hears your opinions on tech or media or gadgets and integrates your subjectivity into their own. Kudos for that. I would have it no other way. I don't have time to keep up on every new media advancement and I heartily appreciate the podcasters and bloggers that parse down daily and weekly events in tech for me in compartmentalized segments.

Am I really missing the boat on the online ocean that makes it hip to engage in blurb ineractions about something that, by sitting in front of your computer, you're doing less to participate in than a person standing in line with their registration card? I honestly don't begrudge someone who gets a kick out of spending their election night (or any night for that matter) lost in a sea of millions of tweets if they honestly get a kick out of such things. Really, you could be doing far worse things like... oh, I don't know... watching network coverage of the election with pundits in formation like a line up of gargoyles sitting behind a desk that looks like it came off of page 63 of the Ikea catalogue.

If you really look forward to being part of tweet ocean during a big event. Have at it. Curse my idiocy and create yourself a special avatar for the night. But, if you're like me, who generally respects the input of the people whose tweets you follow, ignore the flood of shock and blah that accompanies the event. Take two shots of NyQuil, pop on a live version of Mandrake Root by Deep Purple, and wake up in the morning where the results of what happened the night before will not have changed... actually, just go to and watch it for ten minutes - you'll achieve the same effect as the drugs and the music.


1 response
Haha, nice.

I had a brief flirtation with Twitter, but quickly realized I don't possess the ability to be that concisely intelligent. The problem is that there are VERY FEW who do possess that ability. I remember wading through people's tweets, and only rarely found myself laughing or shouting out loud at a particularly well-composed tweet.

Much of it is minutiae. Kinda soul-numbing, unless you're really in the mood to know that so-and-so is now on the airport. And has now arrived at the airport. And is now at the baggage check. And so on.

I can imagine that on Election night the effect of Twitter would be like getting concussed by an extremely small hammer. Or being smacked in the face repeatedly with a Twizzler. Over. And. Over. And. Over.