Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I am on Blogger. I am about to publish this post.

Beloved magazine, N+1, has an article on its front page called Whatever Minutes, and it is dovetailing nicely with an article in the copy of Adbusters one of my roommates left on the kitchen table while I was eating cereal.

From Whatever Minutes - and, yes, this is the ending:
When you eavesdrop on cell-phone conversations, you learn who people are by what they are saying to their friends: “I am now doing one thing. I am now doing another. I will report them all and notice none.” And in effect this mode of constant self-report can be summed up in a single phrase: “I am on the phone. I am on the phone. I am on the phone.”

This brings to mind the inherent uselessness of Twitter, the ultimate "stupid bullshit" Web site. Those familiar with facebook are aware of the "status update" in which you can make ironic, pithy statements about activities you are doing which appear at the top of your profile. Always about 10 words maximum, they're quick, perfect mechanisms for conveying to all of your friends that you are in the library, annoyed by something, or really, totally clever.

Twitter takes all that and makes it just that. So there's nothing but a stream of one-sentence status updates from your friends that - like facebook - you can get text messaged to your phone or e-mailed.

Adbusters strays from its typical content - depression and anxiety-ridden cures for depression and anxiety - to suggest that this kind of status-speak changes the way we communicate. It changes authentic expressions of complicated ideas and emotions into bursts of updates on activities.

Which is true. In order to ever really be honest on Twitter, you would have to simply type, "I am on Twitter. I am on Twitter. I am on Twitter."

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