Time To Banish 'Twitter'!

There are seismic events which have such import, that it is possible to remember exactly where one was and what one was doing when the news first broke.

I was in the school library looking out on an Autumnal scene with a large Oak tree gently showering its golden leaves to the ground, when I heard that Chairman Mao had died. When Princess Diana was killed in a Paris car smash, I was just getting out of bed on a Sunday morning at home in Buckinghamshire. And when the first cruise missiles hit Baghdad as part of ‘Shock and Awe’, I was at a drinks party at the Foreign Office in London, and rushed downstairs to watch the first footage in the press office.

I was sitting minding my own business at one of those inspiring events organised by the Push Institute in Minneapolis when I first heard the word ‘Twitter’...  What? I will have to re read my own words! I actually remember where I was and what I was doing when I first heard about Twitter? Extraordinary as it may seem, that is the case, but I think I must remember this, because my immediate reaction three or four years ago was a mixture of incredulity and extreme scepticism. Only twits would Twitter, I thought. Strangely enough that remains my view, for the reality is that only utter twits, Twitter.

The time has come to ask; what on earth is the point of Twitter? Why would anyone in their right mind bother to spend time twittering short banalities about what time they got up in the morning, whether they caught the 91 bus, or in one of those hideous one liners, littered with typos and abbreviations, inform all and sundry what they think of Wayne Rooney’s decision to stay with Manchester United? The only remotely good thing that has come from Twitter are the tweetings of the serially stupid, vapid public figures, whose streams of consciousness often contain nuggets of such astounding vacuity that they can make good newspaper diary items, and earn one some money.

I remember sitting next to a fellow reporter on one of those mind numbing tedious Sundays when nothing was happening in the newsroom, and asking him why he bothered to tweet all sorts of nonsense. “It’s the bosses in Doha”, he said. “They all have the TV switched on in their offices – but they never have the sound on, so they have no idea really how good any of us are. But they do got to lots of pointless meetings and get bored. Which is when they switch on their blackberries and see us tweeting”. Reluctantly, and under his guidance, I set up a Twitter account. The day in question was one when North Korea’s Kim Jong Il was threatening to set off a nuclear test, and since bizarrely the news editor hadn’t seen fit to get me – one of the very few journalists to have reported from that country, and on several occasions – to commentate, I sent one short, lonely tweet. I can’t remember what I wrote about North Korea, but I did elicit a response, from a former colleague that I couldn’t stand. So that was it. One short tweet into cyberspace, a response from an abomination of a man I just could not abide, and the rest is history.

So you see, Twitter is a waste of time and space. It gets in the way of real communication and provides yet another excuse not to work. It is unutterably childish and banal, and no adult who wishes still to be regarded as such should go anywhere near it.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.