Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Most Tweeted

The Super Bowl, an American sporting event that believes itself to be the biggest in the world (conveniently overlooking the Tour de France), has set a new record - as the 'most tweeted sporting event ever'. The facts and figures are here, along with a list of some other much-tweeted events.
It's things like this that convince me the Twitter phenomenon is getting out of hand. For myself, I've always been agin it, on the grounds that there's more than enough wittering in the world already, and I don't intend to make matters any worse. I can see no attraction in the medium, except perhaps in developing it as a kind of ultra-tight prose haiku, but life's too short, and so are tweets. Twitter has, of course, been a phenomenal success - but when it comes to tweeting on such a phenomenal scale in the course of a fast-moving sporting event, you have to wonder what's going on. Are we reaching the point when people won't believe they're having (or have had) an experience unless they're tweeting about it? Will the tweet become more important, more real, than the experience itself? It's something akin to those camera-toting tourists who never look at anything except through the camera's lens, and won't believe they've been anywhere unless they have the photographs to prove it. The compulsion to tweet can be seen as a demotic version of a condition that afflicts writers and journalists - the inability to experience anything without simultaneously turning it into words. In these circumstances, words - whether tweeted or composed in a writerly way in the head - come between us and what we are perceiving and should be experiencing. What a joy it would be to return to the world I grew up in, where a person could wander at large entirely unconnected and incommunicado, with no means of communicating with anyone, except perhaps by seeking out a red telephone box. I'm sure we experienced the world in a more direct, uncomplicated and relaxed way then, when we were not busy compulsively translating it into something else and feverishly communicating with the immaterial world contained in a little box in the palm of the hand.

1 comment:

  1. As I've said many times, Twitter is the most obnoxious form of communication ever invented.

    Even more than puns.