Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dullness And Birdsong

If I told you I was having difficulty finding grass seed in the local hardware store, or wondering why my instant coffee didn’t dissolve correctly in water this morning, would you care? Probably not. What if I professed to be standing on my roof while hurling truck tires into the neighboring yard, emulating the muscle-headed logistics of Lou Ferrigno from a 1970’s Strongest Man Competition. Without pants. Or cutting the adjacent lawn with a Fisher Price bubble mower, unsolicited, still no pants. Perhaps your interest might ratchet forward a notch or two. Surely, if I alleged to have carjacked an old woman in a fit of recreational boredom and crashed her Buick Roadmaster into a McDonald’s drive-thru booth, pumping my fist inspirationally upon impact, you’d be somewhat curious about my future shenanigans; forgiving me if undertaken fully clothed.

With the snowballing relevance of Twitter as a social networking tool, comes the irrelevance of most users’ status updates, or “tweets” to use the hip vernacular. In other words, unless your friend is a snuff film director or mule for some
Mexican drug cartel, most postings straddle the gray area between brainless and boring (i.e. grass seed and instant coffee). Although we may wish to believe otherwise, our inherently mundane lives don’t translate into enthralling fodder for their doting fan bases. Rich content dissemination, this is not; as people effectively subscribe to the humdrum thought bubbles of others in a palatable 140 character context. According to the company’s mission statement, the utility allows one “to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

So, what are you doing?

Scratching your ass? Hauling garbage to the curb? Heating a pie, four and twenty blackbirds baked inside? You’ll excuse me for yawning, although I do love a good blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream. At least e-mail allows for the filtering of minutiae. Even Facebook, flawed as it may be, doesn’t necessitate a stream of vomitous quips to maintain its networking objectives. But the pressure to continually spew banter of trifling importance (in the hopes of placating one’s “followers”) empowers an entire subset of tech savvy airheads to inflate their egos with self-serving twaddle. I don’t care where grandpa left his shoes. I don’t concern myself with the changing of your toothpaste brand. And I don’t want to know about the great discount you received on hemorrhoid cream. I’m sorry. You’re just not that interesting.

As technology continues its loving home invasion, the lowest common denominator framework of Twitter has turned an entire generation from consumers of great literature to perusers of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. The coddled idealists of Generation Y are graduating as a class of streamlined cyborgs; lacking in basic social skills because their social connections de rigueur are almost wholly accomplished via truncated text and emoticons.

Far from a Luddite, this author's LinkedIn and Facebook accounts are relatively active, used as a means to connect with old friends and network with colleagues (see “The Return of Licehead” and “Will Work For Dignity”). And my cell phone leaks battery life for more than the infrequent roadside emergency. Within the province of the internet, however: Those who can write, blog. Those who can’t, tweet. And those lacking the patience, intellect, or vocabulary to read a thoughtfully constructed article, happily masturbate to the plebeian travails of their Twitter-happy common man, or Ashton Kutcher, or some other vacuous celebrity whore with nothing to say and the grammatically incorrect means to say it.

In any case, for those who absolutely need to “stay connected,” @EssentialBastard is preparing to take an enormous dump after publishing this rant. Follow me on Twitter for more real time updates. I even promise to wash my hands. Although in our new world of wireless internet connectivity, no one shakes hands anyway. It’s so 20th century.

11 comments:

Suldog said...

Amen, Brother! Amen!

I'm one of those Luddites you mention, as I have never owned a cell phone. I never will, either. I find regular land-line phone calls are usually an interruption I don't want, so I have no desire to take along a portable interrupting device on my travels.

(I obviously enjoy this sort of thing, though. Luddite, Reformed.)

MVD said...

Suldog - You and my born again uncle are the only non-convalescent home dwellers I know who proudly renounce cell phones. Fight the power, my friend.

Expat From Hell said...

I, too, am cell-phone chaste.
Left it, along with the wart on my ass, in my past somewhere.

MVD said...

Thank you for that visual, Expat. Although I'm guilty of envisioning myself in two pants-less activities from paragraph one, there's no need for our regular roundtable of commenters to examine each others asses. This is a blog, not a proctologist’s office.

Thanks for stopping by ;)

Jen said...

So what will you be telling us on Twitter? I too ranted on this subject on my blog but have yet had the cojones to then add it to my site. My life is so boring I can't stand to read what I Twitter about. Perhaps I will just start making things up.

MVD said...

Hey Jen - At some point, I may bow to the Twitter gods and establish an account, but it hasn't happened yet. Chalk it up to the paradox of living an uninteresting life amidst high technology. Were I to tweet at this very moment, it might read something like this:

"...about to spray my outdoor stairs with a mixture of bleach of water ... may also do shutters"

Tina said...

I hope your dump went well. I don't tweet so I'm sorry I missed that update.

Chrissy said...

I think a lot of us have written about our lackluster enthusiasm for Twitter. While your description was "refreshing and creative", I dumbed my down for the masses.

Here it is: WTF?

blunt delivery said...

ugh. we all cave eventually. um.. i tried doing a search for you and nothing came up... so how about you just click on my fabulous follow button on my blog then i'll be able to find you. sound good honey baby sugar lump?

MVD said...

To borrow a prior commenter's term, I'm afraid I haven't had the cojones to set up a Twitter account. That's not to say I won't EVER cave to societal pressure, and thus make a hypocritical ass of myself. I just haven't caved yet.

(the "dump" comment was more or less a sneak preview, I don't think I'm ready for prime-time)

growingupartists said...

Uh, you totally had me until you suggested Americans had previously been consumers of great literature. Then you started sounding like Steven Weber of Huffpost Bravado. If you need a Twitter friend to tell you you're important, please let me know. I've less qualms than I thought putting a gay male named Nancy (really, not J-Lo) on my sidebar, what's one more "good job you ate a Big-Mac and said screw it, no thanks on the combo".

No rhyming though (grooming @johncmayer to take over where Joaquin never took off).

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