Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 25, 2009


Reddit: I'm thirty and don't understand twitter. Can anyone explain the benefit ? Am I just too old?

im 29 and i understand it to be some kind of digital umbilical cord so that your friends know when you eat and poop and feel happy or sad

I assume it's a passing fad, like the year when every joe schmoe started a blog. At first people engage in the activity furiously because they think that other people are paying attention. But gradually, nagging voices in their heads tell them that no one is actually listening. Duration between twits increases until the start of a new annoying fad.

One of the great let downs of our time will be when we realize that really, no one else gives a shit what is going on in our lives, except the people we love, and even this its to a limited extent.

Everybody's so self-important these days that I doubt that realization will ever sink in, true as it may be. Most of us are more interested in posting our own lives than paying any attention to anybody else.

Many of us older farts already know this. And usually keep it under 140 characters anyway.

well, most of the things I've seen on twitter are garbage anyways. In fact, I've never read a twitter post that was funny, insightful or even slightly amusing. It's always stupid shit like "lolz, at kfc, getting chicken. haha. Mmm chicken."

I'm 38 and I don't understand blogging. Can anyone explain the benefit? Am I just too old?

I'm 2 and don't understand English. Halp.

A stream of digital urine if you will.

Rots your brain, too.

That's what they said about masturbation.

Now in some weird misguided effort to be "with it," they have Wolf Blitzer, etc, hammering out 40 characters of crap.

The thread enables those of us who ride S.F. Bay Area CalTrain with our bicycles to evaluate the probability that there'll be room for us and our bikes on a given train. I'm 57. . .

Hmm...I don't use twitter and I don't like it and I'm 24. However I shall attempt a actual explanation. . . I think our generation still thinks of the internet as something to get onto and surf. For the next generation (that is people 10 yrs younger) internet is something that is always there, all the time, like a table or chair. Also I think tweets can be sent automatically to hand phones. I think thats a big part of the attraction.

It's a bridge between a standard cell phone and the internet. If you have unlimited texting, you can use it to talk to your friends online in a sort of group chat/delayed response kind of thing . . .

it's a one-to-many IM service.

I use it to tell all my friends (whether or not I've ever met them) how firm my stools are.

It is teenage angst poetry without the effort or the angst. It is a blog without the interesting biographical content. It is a the mindlessly inane prattle about shopping, shoes and other's flaws that distracts twitter users from the echoing vacuum of their futile existences. Really, if they were doing anything worthwhile, how would they have time to scribble vacuous remarks about it?

Robot Wisdom

it's the algonquin roundtable redux:
a universal competition
to say memorable things
in 140 characters or less. . .

twitter is like usenet
where you subscribe to
people not topics


spamfree by design

intolerant of prolixity

easily capturing stray thoughts
and trying them out
on a mostly-forgiving audience


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