The Case Against Twitter

C'mon, admit it. Twitter is useless.

Not long ago, Meghan McCain, maverick progeny and rising media star (because, no doubt, of her impressive intellectual gifts), posted a cleavage-intense picture of herself on her Twitter account.

"For years," the 25-year-old would lament later, "I have struggled to accept the fact that the way I look in a tank top comes off more 'sexual' than a flat-chested woman."

First, let's all agree on the obvious: A nation that fails to deal with the deep-seated struggles of busty young blondes is a nation that fails us all.

Then feel free to wonder why an intelligent young woman feigns astonishment when her candid shot creates a hubbub online after she disseminates the shot to 76,000 followers. Isn't that the point of posting on Twitter? Highlighting everything? Even your socio-political thoughts on cup sizes?

Twitter's popularity and usefulness are mysteries to me. Pressed by personal, professional, and cultural forces, I sporadically deploy short missives for fear of becoming one of those cantankerous technophobes who is too dense to recognize the miracle of letting "followers" know he hates raisins or that he loved the finale of Mad Men.

Now not only am I expected to transmit this minutiae mere seconds after I think it but also some 20-year-old in California has decreed that I must do it within the brevity of 140 characters. This need for conciseness, in fact, induces normally articulate friends of mine to write in Prince lyrics—recklessly using "2" and "4" and "U" as words.

To this point, I've found Twitter so aggressively worthless that I was forced to research exactly what I am missing. In the process, I stumbled across a useful New York Times tech column penned by David Pogue that clarified all. The headline read, "Twitter? It's What You Make It."

In summation, like your beloved pet rock, Twitter is useful only in your imagination.

Despite this, I can't begin to add up how many times, as a member of the media, I've been instructed that I need to tweet by people who have absolutely no clue what tweeting means. How Twitter helps journalism is yet to be determined.

But the deepest mystery of Twitter is why celebrities and elected officials take part. After all, we all know they can't write their own lines.

Now, admittedly, Twitter can be entertaining on occasion, as it turns out that 140 characters offers a great chance to be misunderstood—and an even greater chance one will expose his inner troglodyte.

In these past few weeks alone, a clueless Colorado state Sen. Dave Schultheis tweeted, "Don't for a second, think Obama wants what is best for U.S. He is flying the U.S. Plane right into the ground at full speed. Let's Roll." NFL running back Larry Johnson took time out from his busy day of stinking at his job to ridicule his coach and question the heterosexuality (crudely) of a critical tweeter. He lost his job.

So you see, though only a reported 11 percent of Twitter's users are actually teenagers, nearly everyone who participates may end up sounding like one. (Young people have the good sense to head to MySpace, where they freely can post sexually provocative pictures—with music!) I certainly have no cleavage to ratchet up my "follower" numbers.

As a blogging, Facebooking, texting American who values the explosion of democratic user-generated Internet content and its contribution to intellectual debate, political activism, government transparency, entertainment, access to data, and community, I can safely say I still see no reason to tweet.

Naturally, this phenomenon is growing by approximately 1 million percent yearly. Maybe this is just where I get left behind by technology. Still, I'm sticking with Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, who called Twitter the "poor man's e-mail system"—and considering e-mail is completely free and allows you to form complete sentences, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his Web site at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 THE DENVER POST
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Brevity is the whole of Twitter.

  • JB||

    And the soul.

    Twitter is a platform. It's like saying the internet is useless.

    What an awful article. Maybe next time do some research on how many people are productively using Twitter for work, networking, finding news, finding jobs, etc.

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    I see others using it for networking, but I use it basically just for broadcasting to others. A look at my feed will show links to posts (the ones starting with "New:") but also me trying to degrade CNN, get activists to do things in better ways, separate TeaParty leaders from their followers, and so on.

    And, here's something pretty sweet: I've currently got 337 followers, while someone much more famous and who's on the TV only has a little over 2000: twitter.com/JohnKingCNN

    I also run some specialized feeds, such as one providing late sixties music vids a few times per day.

  • edna||

    shut the fuck up, lonewhacko.

    how many characters is that?

  • ||

    Well said, JB. This article is utterly worthless.

  • bigbootylove||

    The real case with twitter is, everyone speaks but noone listens lol

  • seo mexico||

    2 years of this comment :) What do you think about that now?

    I know this guy dont read my comment, but I am in shock of people who does not have any clue about tech

  • Adam||

    Re-write and re-submit in 140 characters or less. Thx.

  • hmm||

    YRU hatting on Twtr. ur jst old n :(. Twtr rcks~

    http://roflrazzi.files.wordpre.....deboob.jpg

  • hmm||

    Look at me Look at me!

    I don't get twitter. I have email and text if I want to say something. I have no desire to broadcast to the world. It all seems like a way to try and be famous without being famous. Like you pointed out, I have a hard enough time keeping the retarded troglodyte (mine's extra stupid) locked up.

  • ed||

    No mystery. It's narcissism and everybody knows it.

  • Suki||

    That must be it, why I never got interested in Twitter. I have Facebook, Myspace, Bebo and Blogspot accounts but don't use them much. Never got narcissistic.

  • ed||

    Dear Followers:
    I'm going to the pool to get some morning sun. I live in South Florida. Don't you wish you were me? Toodles!

  • Suki||

    I wish I was in South Florida, instead of this cold drizzle you sent me :(

  • ed||

    Dearest Followers:
    The pool was marvy. Blue skies and nary a cloud. Ed is as tan as a biological offspring of the Scots can be: that's right: bluish-pink.

  • D-FENS||

    The social media Venn diagram from Despair pretty well sums it up: http://despair.com/somevedi.html

    My ex-girlfriend was the biggest narcissist I've ever known, and had to have "her name on everyone's lips." It sure was after I broke up with her... She's an uber-lefty, and when I once mentioned that Ayn Rand had some good ideas about personal responsibility, she said something about how much she hated selfish people. Ironically, she was also one of the most selfish people I've ever met.

  • JB||

    Again, Twitter is what you make it.

    It's like saying the internet is useless...'I have TV, radio, newspapers, why would I need the internet?'

  • hmm||

    None of the above are on demand. The internet is. I have 2 on demand formats that are superior to twitter, email and text. Both are mobile, both have better formats, both have richer media... the list goes on. I really can't come up with a reason other than the recent desire by everyone to be come famous.

  • jpocali||

    To be fair, it is more like saying, "Why take out a full page ad when I can use the Classifieds?"

  • hmm||

    When there is no negative utility for taking out the full ad why would you ever use the classifieds?

    I guess there might be a free advertising component if you can get enough people to follow you.

  • JB||

    For many people, it's not about being followed; it's about following people of interest who post items of interest.

  • Robert||

    All web 2.0 stuff is a scam. The business model is like TV. YOU are the product. You view their ads, you are tracked, monitored, packaged and sold to the highest bidder. And deleting the account is not possible in some cases. Even if it is, data never dies..

    Refusing to participate does no good, as others will helpfully add your name as metadata to those shameful pictures of you drinking at a party, etc.

    You can not win, you can not break even.. The question is how much you will lose!

  • Adderall Apocalypse||

    omg! u luddite! j/k. :-P But srsly, does the term #iranelection mean nothing 2 u!? [I mean ~5 mo. ago, o/c]

  • Suki||

    Nice to see that Reason is supported by Radical Islam AND the Mossad! LOL

  • peachy||

    The Pentagon, too.

  • Suki||

    And David Ben-Gurion? From the grave? At least Nick Gillespie's jacket can keep the peace in that crowd.

  • prolefeed||

    Still some choice supporter names available:

    NAMBLA

    Snidely Whiplash

    sociopaths everywhere

    The CIA

    Elvis Presley

    Al Quaeda

  • ||

    Word has it that Ezra Klein, Feministing, and Paul Krugman are going to appear in the "supported by" banner sometime.

  • Suki||

    Isn't Feministing Porn already represented?

  • ||

    I have zero use for Twitter, and next to no use for Facebook.

    GET OFF MY LAWN
    *shakes fist*

  • ||

    I love Twitter. I'm addicted to Twitter. It's fun, and it's increasing my book sales, and I enjoy talking to the people I've met whom I never would've met otherwise.

  • Suki||

    What books do you write? I think the blog I help John with gets him the most book sales, but would have to double check with him.

  • ||

    um..i write romance, under a pen name. Only one book so far.

  • BakedPenguin||

    If you've only sold one book so far, I have to say I'm skeptical of Twitter being all that helpful.

  • ||

    3K books. One title.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Perhaps I should have added "jk jk" after that.

  • ||

    I AM NOT DEFENSIVE!

  • BakedPenguin||

    Hmm... Glad I didn't add the joke about how becoming the head of acquisitions at a major metropolitan public library might have been helpful to sales...

    Seriously though, congratulations. IIRC, 3k is right about where genre publishers make their money back. Meaning there's almost certainly another book to be published if you decide to write it.

  • Suki||

    Cool! I like romance and that is what I helped with too.

  • Lew Rockwell||

    So, it's yaoi, then, right?

  • JB||

    Twitter would be great for Suki.

  • Suki||

    The Suki is anti The Twitter.

  • ||

    Now, whenever I see Suki's name, in my head I hear "Sookeh."

  • Samuel Morse||

    If I'd seen this coming, I never would have run the Pony Express out of business.

  • thenino85||

    Very few things bother me more than girls that complain about how having large breasts or being too pretty. Blah, blah, blah, people just think of me as a pair of breasts, blah, blah blah. Most flat-chested girls would kill for larger breasts, hence push-up bras and breast implants, because, terrible as this is, people will treat you better if you're hotter and/or prettier. Happens to men too, though there having large breasts has the opposite effect, oddly. Complaining about the fact that you won the genetic jackpot just seems like the ultimate act of self-absorption. You want all the advantage of being a long, attractive, big-breasted blonde but have none of the minor side effects? I do feel sympathy for the girls that develop back problems as a result, but that's a different matter entirely.

    Oh, right, this is about Twitter. I kept figuring that Twitter would die on its own, but the damn thing has stuck around long enough that at this point, it's probably here to stay.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I have a minor pet peeve about the whole "women are less into the looks" idea. I used to work alongside a guy who was a male model. We did not get equal treatment from female co-workers. I didn't really have a problem with that, since I expected it. I did have a problem with the fact that quite a few of those women were the type who would whine and pule about men being pigs.

  • JB||

    Women are at least as superficial as guys.

    Just look at how many women who want a guy of a certain height. That is worse than a guy saying I want a girl with 44 DDs; at least a person can buy those.

  • Suki||

    A pig is easier to tolerate if he is not hard on the eyes.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Fair enough; so is a bitch.

  • Suki||

    This is a big world.

  • bohica||

    That's why you never see a really attractive guy accused of sexual harassment. Women like attention from hot guys. The same remarks and actions in the office that will get an ugly guy busted will get a hot guy laid.

  • ||

    The root word for twitter is twit. However, instead of waiting around here for a good troll, I can find plenty of fools to argue with at cspan's twitter site.

  • ||

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with anothe

  • ha||

    #iranelection, you rube

  • Suki||

    How long before Pingbacks from twitter accounts outnumber the real comments on this thread?

  • Kolohe||

    It just occured to me, after I went to Balko's twitter feed from a link on a blog that was linked to by today's pledge drive post, that Eric Schmidt, while being richer than I'll ever be, is very wrong in this case.

    Twitter is not the poor man's email, it's short attention span blogging.

    And like all blogging, can be done well or not so well.

  • ||

    Here, just for ya'll, is a great photo I found on Twitter.

    My Mormon libertarian buddy tweeted it.

  • fortyouncer||

    Oh that's how you write it. I always thought the past tense was twatted.

  • Tholan||

    Awesome. My wife say's she would sue the sign poster. I don't see the grounds.

  • JB||

    That's great.

    That picture alone should get the Twitter doubters to shut up.

  • monk||

    It's called google images...

  • JB||

    So google images will find cool images and tell you about them?

    News to me.

  • Wicks Cherrycoke||

    We'll see if in a few years whether Twitter has the staying power of newsgroups, chat rooms, ICQ, Odigo, AOL "pen pals," and any one of a number of now-forgotten online communications trends.

    They all seem to follow the same pattern: some communications tool becomes the hot new thing, people flock to it, women give themselves screen names like "HotBabe10" or "ILikeSex200" and post cheesy pictures of themselves, get outraged when men (often of Middle Eastern extraction) respond with off-color comments, and then abandon the tool in disgust.

  • Hugh Akston||

    get outraged when men (often of Middle Eastern extraction)

    Wait, what?

  • Mahir Çağrı||

    I KISS YOU!!!

    Who is want to come TURKEY I can invitate ..... She can stay my home ........

  • Mad Max||

    One of the clues the FBI missed before 9/11 was when Osama bin Laden replied to some Boston chick's tweet by writing 'hope you dont haf any flights tomorrow lol'

  • Wicks Cherrycoke||

    I had heard from a substantial number of women who participated in the Odigo, ICQ, etc, that Arabic and Middle Eastern men (or at least men claiming to be Arabic or Middle Eastern) were contacting them and making obscene or off-color comments to them.

  • DanD||

    Funny how Eric Schmidt was knocking Twitter but was still willing to shell out a hefty chuck of GoogleBucks(R) to acquire it.

    With that said, I totally agree that Twitter is useless for most applications (especially journalism!), but I've found it useful for one thing in particular: there's a local company that runs sports leagues for adults, and they use Twitter for weather cancellations and venue changes. So instead of running to a computer to check their site, you can have game notifications sent to your phone via SMS. Very handy!

  • JB||

    Useless for journalism? LOL.

    You should see the number of publications using Twitter and driving tons of readers to their content. For many people, Twitter is a human-networked tool for sharing links.

  • DanD||

    [citation needed]

  • JB||

  • ||

    HA!

  • JB||

  • monk||

    It's called email.

  • Van Rijn||

    Behold the *only* twittering worth a damn:

    http://twitter.com/shitmydadsays

  • Hugh Akston||

    Great article David. I'll link to it from my Friendster account, add it to my AOL homepage, and discuss it at length on my LiveJournal.

    I'd add it to my Geocities page, but I've had some trouble accessing it lately.

  • ||

    Meghan's mammaries
    showing big boobs in tube top
    a twitter titter

  • ||

    I think you mean that she gave folks a "titty twitter."

  • ||

    Shouldn't that be a twit titty tweet?

  • ||

    The Tea Parties never would have got organized over email. Twitter is incredibly useful. If you can't find a use for it, then you're doing it wrong.

  • JB||

    Agree completely. Use it with TweetDeck and follow people of interest and group them.

  • mad the swine||

    Um, do you know where the term 'Tea Party' originated? I'm pretty sure neither e-mail nor twitter were involved.

  • Marcello||

    If it wasn't for Twitter, I would never have heard of David Harsanyi. In other words, he's right, it's useless!

  • Mad Max||

    I don't know how useful Twitter can be. I'm not using it, but maybe I should be. But it certainly seems exaggerated.

    For every person who uses twitter to organize important activities like marches or sports, there are like 100 narcissists.

    People, especially older people, are inhibited from criticizing it because of the fear of being uncool and not up to what the kids are doing. If they just get used to the fact that they're not going to be cool anyway, they may as well speak their minds.

  • Mad Max||

    'older' = over 19

  • Mad Max||

    To criticize Twitter in a hip way, just say, 'oh, you're still doing twitter? I switched over to [mumble something that sounds trendy and cool] three months ago.'

    Your interlocutor won't even dare to ask you what [something that sounds trendy and cool] is, because he will be afraid he will come across as a fuddy-duddy with lime-green pants belted across his belly button and with the left-turn blinker in his Mercury Maquis constantly on because he's too focused on getting home in time for the Bob Hope Special.

  • Mad Max||

    But I like the stuff my dad says dad.

  • JB||

    Very easy to ignore the useless people. Don't follow them.

  • Hugh Akston||

    That's kind of hard when they keep posting Twitter apologetics on this thread.

  • Richard Holder||

    Also, follow Reason on twitter!

  • ¢||

    I used to work alongside a guy who was a male model.

    You have no idea.

    I used to be that guy. Now I'm not. I'm not much not (I didn't get fat or my face burned off or anything), but I'm just enough not that it isn't the immediate impresssion I give anymore. So now "professional" women, and "men are pigs" types of any class, are utter assholes (in comparison) to me, all the time, with barely an exception, unless and until they find out I'm kinda Somebody.

    I didn't know. They don't, either. Even if you've observed it, you don't really get how massive a difference that immediate "I'd hit it" makes. The gap between how women treat "OH GOD GOTTA FUCK HIM" guy and "I might, if he's Somebody" guy is like men's gap between Megan Fox and Michael Moore with a "Megan Fox" nametag on.

  • Mad Max||

    I just rely on my personality.

  • Episiarch||

    All stupidity aside, I want to hear how to monetize Twitter. Whoever figures that out becomes a jillionaire. The problem is...there isn't a way to monetize Twitter. Shit, even Facebook, which has had 600 million sunk into it (600 million!) is only barely starting to turn a profit. How you gonna get that 600 mil back, dudes?

    Twitter is just another social media money pit. The creators are hoping to the FSM that someone stupid like Google will buy them for a billion dollars, but people are starting to wise up.

  • JB||

    They can make some money with targeted ads. I'm not sure how that will work with all the people using it through outside applications.

    Also, they can charge for premiums. Not sure what those would be at this point. Charge for account verification for businesses for example.

  • prolefeed||

    Twitterbucks TM.

    Print yer own cash.

  • IceTrey||

    That's easy. Find someone rich to follow and when they announce they are going to the south of France for the summer rob their house.

  • ||

    Whew, just what i needed on a monday. Thank you sir!

  • prolefeed||

    Who would have thought that a fugly old dude like McCain would have such a hawt daughter?

    Those tits look fake, though.

  • Agent Provacateur||

    Those tits look fake, though.

    Sounds like something a jealous ,small-breasted woman would say.Meghan McCain is just a busty gal.She is kinda fat too which makes them even bigger.

  • Suki||

    I am not jealous of her.

  • prolefeed||

    Or a guy who has watched an inordinate amount of pr0n and has some idea of what are fake v. real tits.

    But, after googling a larger sample of pictures:

    http://images.google.com/image.....i=g1g-s1g8

    I'd say her tits are real, and proportional to her quasi-voluptuous figure. I wouldn't call her "kinda fat" -- nice body.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    "I have struggled to accept the fact that the way I look in a tank top comes off more 'sexual' than a flat-chested woman."

    How about struggling with basic grammar? The way you look = a flat-chested woman?

    Did you mean to say: "I have struggled to accept the fact that I look more 'sexual' in a tank top than a flat-chested woman would." That's fewer characters!

    Or did you mean that the mere image of you is more sexual than an actual flat-chested woman? Whatever they told you on TV, Meghan, flat-chested women are not completely unsexual. They just have to try harder. You too, soon.

  • Episiarch||

    So Tim's a breast guy. See, I would have figured you as more of an ass man. Or a man jaw dude, like NutraSweet.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    On second look, that's a pretty dickish comment I made. My apologies to large-breasted and small-breasted women, along with people who find images more attractive than actual people, and anybody else I may have offended.

  • Episiarch||

    Dickish comments are the point, Tim. Don't go soft (get it?) on us.

  • Warty||

    You bought a dicktowel, didn't you, Epi? Don't you fucking dare lie to me.

  • Episiarch||

    GUILTY

    * Features Tiny Bird
    * Huge Cock
    * Tight Buns
    * Chics get HOT

  • hmm||

    Way to fuck up a good rant with a retarded apology.

  • ||

    I am not a twit.

  • lavaman||

    The reason twitter usage is confusing is because the people using twitter don't know what it's for.

    The whole original point of twitter was to let people know where you are and what you are doing right now so all your friends can come meet you.

    That's it. Period.

    It's not for blogging, sharing your thoughts, etc.

    Even the page itself tells you that. When you login to twitter there's a big box that says "What are you doing right now?"

    It never asks you your thoughts on current events or what the coolest youtube video is. It's there so you can tell people what you're doing. Right now.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    But taking it that literally would mean that every tweet should just say "I'm tweeting".

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    The whole original point of twitter was to let people know where you are and what you are doing right now so all your friends can come meet you.

    The original point of Rocky Horror was to be a movie audiences would enjoy passively. Tough break. I should be as misunderstood as Twitter.

  • lavaman||

    Rocky Horror achieved their goal quite well then, just not with an audience the size they would've liked...

  • lavaman||

    Oops. Read that too quickly. Thought it said massively instead of passively.

  • ||

    Then, I hope it makes you feel better that when I read your real estate posts on HnR, I throw rice and toast in the air.

    My office-mates are starting to get pissed, I think.

  • hmm||

    I was little bummed there was no Rocky post on Halloween.

  • Danny||

    "Twitter for Dummies" is redundant.

  • jester||

    Haikus always seem
    To fit nicely on Twitter
    They are concise, see

  • ||

    Twitter Sucks!!

    and as someone who has never used twitter for anything and mostly does not understand it i can say that with complete confidence.

  • Mike M.||

    There once was a new app called Twitter
    that set all the kids hearts a-flitter.
    There goes attention span
    into the garbage can.
    America's gone down the shitter.

  • ||

    "It is not advisable [Twitterers] to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your [reader]."

    (Atlas Shrugged)

  • ||

    An open letter to THE SQUIRREL -

    Has The Great and All-Powerful Rodent, finally figured out that threaded comments and Hit & Run are incompatible?

    Humbly awaiting your response,
    J sub D

  • ||

    Please ignore dumbass comma in my previous.

    Thanks.

  • Bradley J. Fikes||

    Shorter David Harsanyi: Twitter sucks because I don't understand it.

  • re-defiler||

    Gotta disagree with Eric Schmidt (king twit). Gmail is the poor man's email, you get what you pay for.

    Nothing is more tech ghetto than Google - just a sleazy telemarketing company with a silly name.

  • ||

    I agree - I just don't get it, but then again, I don't get Myspace either. Like you, I feel that I've finally hit the proverbial "generation gap". Bound to happen sooner or later.

  • ||

    I will be sending you your complimentary pair of depends soon there old feller.

  • IndieFilmmaker||

    I can't believe I just donated $25 to Reason to help subsidize this crap! And I'm surprised more commentors didn't bring up the Iran elections & tea parties. But then, the commentors aren't being PAID for their contributions, given a byline, etc.

  • Bradley J. Fikes||

    To follow up on my Twitter-sized observation about Harsanyi's clueless column (which he must have dashed off to meet deadline): As a journalist, I've found Twitter useful in several different ways.

    *It gives me an abundance of story leads.

    *It lets me publicize my own stories to interested people.

    *It keeps me up to date on happenings on my beats.

    *It helps me build and maintain a source network.

    But you have to approach Twitter systematically to get these results. I looked for people on Twitter who I already knew to be informative. I read their tweets and only followed those who have a high S/N ratio. Then, I examined the follower/followed list of these trusted people to add more sources.

    For retail businesses, Twitter can help attract customers. Bars and restaurants will gladly host Twitter meetups, especially those that are new or need to attract customers. It's free advertising, and having been to a couple of tweetups, I know it's effective in turning people out.

    At the risk of self-promotion, here is an article I wrote about using Twitter: http://j.mp/twi03
    And I am on Twitter @sandiegoscience

  • ||

    Here's another reason I hate threaded comments: LoneDipshit can come wobbling along and tack one of his irrelevant excretions to the first comment in the thread.

    Don't give him the prime real estate.

  • ed||

    Anyway, the fact that at least one "follower" appraised Ms. McCain's bountiful bustage as "bordering on NSFW" is indicative of America's utter ROTFLness. Or something.

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    What's funny is who posted that. I used her as an example (right pic of course) over two years ago. Needless to say, no one else picked up on who she is.

  • Warty||

    No one noticed what you said because no one pays attention to you. Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

  • ed||

    no one else picked up on who she is

    Maybe that's because she's a nobody. A nobody with big tits...
    Then again, in America, big tits can make you a somebody...for a while...

  • Twitter user||

    You suck. Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it isn't useful for people smarter than you.

  • ||

    "Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it isn't useful for people smarter whose time is worth less than you(rs)."

  • ||

  • Ben||

    Worst article ever written on Reason.com. Where is the reasoning and logic? Fire this writer in under 140 characters.

  • ed||

    Fire this writer in under 140 characters

    Here's a box. There's the door. Beat it.

    That's 33. Do spaces count?

  • JB||

    Yes, spaces count.

    Everything counts...in large and small amounts.

  • Advocates for Liberty||

    Let's face it, not many care that someone is baking muffins, but many use Twitter as a news feed. If you choose whom you follow carefully (like @reasonmag, @CatoInstitute) you come across intellectual gems that you might have otherwise never seen.

    Instead of "what are you doing," many groups are using it as "what are we reading" or "what are we thinking."

    As an off-shoot group of the tea party movement, we use social networking and micro-blogging to further the ideals of freedom--both personal and economic.

    Ditto on the #iranelection. Twitter is also useful for keeping tabs on the mobilizing that @BarackObama is planning.

    http://twitter.com/Advocates4LibRT
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/.....2239673940

  • ||

    Where is the reasoning

    Don't mind if I do.

    Drink!

  • MARY STACK||

    THIS STORY REMINDS ME OF A ROOMMATE I HAD WHEN I WAS 18. SHE WAS A VEGETARIAN EXCEPT WHEN I BOUGHT A COOKED CHICKEN. SHE WAS AGAINST FUR COATS BUT WORE A FUR COAT THAT WAS USED & THEREFORE OK. I WOULD THINK YOU WOULD TAKE DOWN THE TWITTER INFO ON YOUR WEBSITE BUT THEN AGAIN...

  • DanD||

    OMG OMG HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED THAT HE'S A WRITER FOR A MAGAZINE THAT EMPLOYS SEVERAL WRITERS AND MAYBE HIS BLOG RANT ISN'T REPRESENTATIVE OF THE WHOLE MAGAZINE OMG OMG

    PS Your Billy Mays key is stuck

  • MARY STACK||

    OMG OMG WHAT THE HELL DOES "SEVERAL WRITERS" HAVE TO DO WITH MY REMARK? IS IT NOT unREASONable TO BITCH ABOUT SOMETHING AND THEN CONTINUE TO PARTICIPATE IN IT? OK, I GRANT YOU YOUR BILLY MAYS COMMENT IS CLEVER. NO ACROSTIC REPLY FOR YOU.

  • DanD||

    HI MARY! WELCOME TO THE INTERNET!!! IT'S NEVER A GOOD IDEA TO CONSTANTLY TYPE IN ALL CAPS UNLESS YOU'RE SHOWING SOMEONE ELSE HOW MUCH OF AN ASSHOLE THEY ARE BEING BY DOING SO!!!

    You are suggesting in your post that it is hypocritical for Reason Magazine and its writersto have a Twitter feed when just one writer is blogposting an unfavorable rant about the service. I am disagreeing with you in a sarcastic manner.

  • MARY STACK||

    @davidharsanyi HAS OVER 90 TWEETS. I NEVER MADE MENTION OF MAGAZINE/WRITER OTHER THAN DAVID HARSANYI. WHAT I WAS REFERRING TO IS http://www.davidharsanyi.com

  • JCoke||

    even then, it still isn't the same thing. I hope you can recognize that. There is a difference between using something, and deciding (and writing) that it is stupid, and preaching that using fur is immoral, and using it. Having experience with Twitter gives more credibility, I think. At any rate, is twitter important enough for you to go investigating this?

  • MARY STACK||

    I NEVER SAID USING FUR WAS IMMORAL NOR IS EATING CHICKEN. MY COMMENT WAS ABOUT THE IRONY OF HIS POST.

  • DICK CHENEY||

    MARY UR STOOPID LOL

  • hmm||

    I offer a rare and not commonly known service.

    It's called YFCLO. I surf the internet to warn people when YOUR FUCKING CAPS LOCK IS ON.

  • MARY STACK||

    HMM, REPLY OUT OF ORDER & STILL USING CAPS. GTFOI!!!

  • prolefeed||

    +1

    Added YFCLO to UrbanDictionary.com

  • Stucky212||

    Great article, David. I notice some posters here don't exactly have a sense of humor.

    I hate raisins too. .

  • ||

    I'm just sick of raisins slipping into everything.

    Don't put them in salads. Seriously. No walnuts either.

  • ||

    I clicked on a link Whackalone had to his blog and he has an ad for several Hannah Montana items, including hand creme. LMAO

  • ||

    Ok, here's something else I learned from Twitter today. An author who writes for the same small publishing house I do just sold her second novel for a million bucks.

    Damn that's cool...

  • highnumber||

    Dave Weigel is a must follow on twitter. Hilarious. Penn & mr teller are good ones too.

  • MARY STACK||

    YFCLO
    OH SO CLEVER!
    UNDENIABLE GENIUS!
    REALIZE YOUR COMMENT IS
    AS INTERESTING AS A 12 YEAR OLDS
    NOTICE YOUR HANDLE IS SILLY TOO.
    ALWAYS INTERESTING TO
    SEE AN UNUSUAL DISORDER I MEAN
    SERVICE

  • Nemo||

    Was that a poem?

  • MARY STACK||

    ACROSTIC

  • mr simple||

    It's you're, as in you are, not your, as in the possessive. Nice try.

  • MARY STACK||

    MERCI MR.SIMPLE.

  • CAPSLOCKMAN||

    I LIKE CAKE.

  • ||

    I liken it to the CB radio craze of the 70s good buddy.

  • JT||

    Add yourself to the list of 'people who have absolutely no clue what tweeting means.'

  • hmm||

    The act of committing a tweet?

  • MARY STACK||

    JT IF YOU INSIST ON USING MY TWITTER PAGE, THEN I SHOULD BE ABLE TO PICK YOUR HANDLE. HOW DOES "MARY'S BITCH" SOUND TO YOU?

  • ||

    I don't use twitter (yet) but I figured that there's not much use for it in my case. It seems like that's something that would be most useful from a mobile phone. My phone is for calls only. If I had internet on my phone I probably would use twitter.

    I really fucking hate that name though. Twitter and tweets. Sounds so fucking felching gay.

  • ||

    K, Reasonites, here's a good reason for you to hate Twitter: trending topics. Trending topics are, in a word, horrible. Imagine if your popular cliques in high school were run by Nigerian 411 scammers. That's what trending topics are like.

    This morning one of the trending topics happens to be a hashtag named #youmightbealiberal. Efforts to get #youmightbeataliberal were for naught. Clicking on the trend netted this gem up front:

    "#YoumightbeaLiberal if you take your ideals for a political system from the Constitution instead of a shitty series of books by Ayn Rand."

    http://twitter.com/LandoHalfel.....5738394528

    I'm not a twitter hater, though. On the internet, you don't have to hate the game; it's far easier to hate the player.

  • hmm||

    I'm not sure what a trending topic is, but that is a very insightful comment. On par with "my cats breath smells like cat food."

  • hmm||

    Pingback is one of those great on paper elephant hanging from a daisy by his trunk ideas.

  • Bradley J. Fikes||

    "It seems like that's something that would be most useful from a mobile phone."

    Wrong. Twitter can be used even more easily on a PC.

    It used to be that people would study a subject before offering an opinion.

  • ||

    Don't be a dickhole
    Useful, easy, not the same
    Think before you post

  • Hacha Cha||

    Follow Reason on the Twitter!

  • Romanticide||

    I use to think the same as yoy, until I found out how comfortable it was to receive the news on it. I could see each headline then decide if I wanted to follow the link into the whole the whole article. Also many protests are followed by twitter, is not that it usefullness is on the imagination, but you need to think what do you want twitter for.

  • Ratko||

    That's Sen. John McCain's daughter? Impressive, who was the girl's mother, Dolly Pardon. I better take another look at the image again, maybe I was on the wrong page.

  • Ratko||

    Nope, that was her. What in the world is she apologising for. McCain should have had her stand behind him while he was campaigning. People would have forgot about the "historic election" real fast.

  • IceTrey||

    That's easy. Find someone rich to follow and when they announce they are going to the south of France for the summer rob their house.

  • Chad||

    "Aggressively worthless" is the best two-word summation of my thoughts on Twitter than I have ever seen. Thanks David.

    I am utterly horrified by the very idea of Twitter, which seems to have three purposes:

    1: To spam my friends with random crap
    2: To be spammed by them in return
    3: To be spammed by celebrities

    Thanks, but no thanks. It is like a condensed form of the absolute worst elements of Facebook, MySpace, etc.

  • ||

    Or 4: Keeping tabs on professional colleagues who briefly link to news items and press releases of relevant interest around the country.

    I'm a local planner with a focus on downtown development. Twitter's been helpful expanding my network of contacts and sources of information on successful local efforts. Local effort being the sorts of things that don't typically get case studies or in-depth review in professional publications. Twitter brings them to my attention in a brief format, and e-mail is good for follow-up.

  • ||

    HA! I love when people are "utterly horrified" by Twitter. It reminds me of the time an old teacher of mine was convinced that "they" would use the internet to brainwash young people.

    *sigh

    Silly antiquated old people, stuck in their ways.

  • ||

    I dunno, that brainwashing thing doesn't seem so far fetched anymore.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Seems I heard the creator of twitter explain the idea thusly...

    Twitter is meant to provide a cross-format way to alert people to the content you have on all those other forums.

    It is not meant to have content, but to link to content.

    For some, that might be useful.

  • ||

    Another way to think of Twitter as opposed to other forms of social media...Facebook and Myspace are for people you know. Twitter is for people you'd like to meet.

  • ashok||

    I enjoyed this op-ed very much, and you're exactly right - there are many other aspects of New Media that are much more appealing, that emphasize things like "coherence" and "proper grammar."

    I will say that for those of us who are struggling to be heard and reach new audiences, Twitter is invaluable. I don't mean this in a snarky way at all, but I don't have reason.com or the Denver Post or aldaily caring about what I say: I have to use Twitter to a degree, and that is a trade-off, and not always for the better. I've sounded off on twitter before in the blog, in fact:

    http://www.ashokkarra.com/2009.....er-a-rant/

  • Hobo Chang Ba||

    As an active Twitter-hater, someday I want to have my own Twitter page where every tweet is something along the lines of "I'm posting on Twitter, guys!," "I think you think that what I have to say is important" and "Look at me! I need attention!"

  • Paul M.||

    In 20 years twitter will be a footnote on some horrid VH1 "I love the aughts" show. Facebook will go the way of AOL. No real substance, just novelty.

  • MWG||

    I have no use for Twitter myself, but I'm guessing there are a few Iranians who might disagree with this lame excuse of an article.

  • MWG||

    Ok... I admit it. I clicked on the link to see the pic.

  • busty||

    First, let's all agree on the obvious: A nation that fails to deal with the deep-seated struggles of busty young blondes is a nation that fails us all.

    Do I detect sarcasm here? Thanks for saying that busty young blondes aren't people.

  • ||

    And here i was, about ready to donate to twitter, and then this most stupid article i've read in a while gets published.

    So, you have no use for twitter? Don't use it.

    Nevermind that for others it's essential in organizing their business and social lifes.

    If all you get out of twitter is uselss junk-messages, maybe you should try making some friends who are not idiots.

  • wylde bill||

    twitter is great for sending and receiving url's to stuff that actually makes sense or is amusing. That's about it, though...

  • Ratko||

    I enjoyed the hooter tweet, that's two uses.

  • white bath towels||

    thank`s to share.

  • reflex bag||

    nice share buddy, thank`s alot.

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane.

  • Boob Job Reviews||

    Facebook is better anyway

  • Nick||

    I could not agree more, Twitter is pointless. I need to send this article to multiple friends of mine.

  • 50 Inch Flat Screen Tv||

    Another excellent post, thank you, this is why I continue visiting here!

  • www.zune.net||

    Like it … is great!

  • classifieds||

    Not that useless! I find it interesting to follow businesses. People not so much...

  • SEO Serviecs||

    Great twitter post!

  • radiologist||

    Excellent post and job well done! I really enjoyed while reading your post. Thanks for sharing this bunch of valuable info!
    RSNA

  • khalid||

    Awesome…

    Thanks

  • Dale Mcleod||

    Twitter is a far better place who want to interact with each other in a unique style. The case against is also written nicely. Here i want to add one thing Good or Bad use all depends on the users. Moreover, if you are looking to order personal checks of you own choice then you can also find some good check printing stores on twitter.

  • nike shox||

    is good

  • ||

    These days Twitter have made a huge impact in terms social networking and connecting people. It has updates and better appearance. Isn't it a good news!
    Photography Graphics

  • Adrienne Landau||

    Twitter is great for networking. That is all I find it useful for.

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