Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Twitter Smackdown

Some blogger, speech writer, conference speaker, etc. named David Murray writes this post about his ongoing, well known hate-affair with Twitter.

The post is a mere sentence.

The video he links to is a four minute interview from a PR guy who is highly influential in his own PR circles. The PR guy thinks that Twitter is the best thing ever invented.

The comments that follow are voyeurly hilarious.

People love twitter and people love to hate twitter. I think most of the argument stems from a collision of competing and emerging etiquettes. The etiquette of a world without text messaging vs. society with a text catalyst like twitter in the mix.

Being the kind of guy who has always tried to make peace, I have empathy for both points of view. I am frustrated with the person who cuts me out of a face to face conversation to answer and reply to a text message. I am just as frustrated with people who refuse to find the redemptive qualities of very cool technologies because they are good at tearing things apart.

I don't think there is any escaping the fact that "rude" is constantly in flux. If you are going to embrace new media, you must accept the fact that you are not able to simply learn the graphical interface without also dealing with the social implications of the technology becoming mainstream. 100 years ago, you could go from decade to decade and see very little shift in the way technology questioned the opinion of Emily Post. Today, even the wiki version of Emily Post's blog would have a difficult time keeping up with the rewrites.

Society's need for increased immediacy is killing the newspaper business, our eating habit's, as well as our etiquette. But hasn't the destruction and rebuilding of etiquette been happening throughout history? Isn't it simply happening at a much more rapid pace today?

So come out of your caves and make your arguments for the way we should act toward each other! But don't blame twitter. There is much more at work, changing our society, than this latest fad.