A feeble attempt: decoding Twitter
by Awais Leghari
Marred by a boring experience on Facebook, I made it a target to take my banter onto the famous micro-blogging haven, Twitter. This was not the only reason behind joining Twitter. There were many other simple ones, too, but eventually they all coalesce back to the gist that suggests that a change is needed; Facebook is now static. The communicative interface is turning old by the minute, and even though improvements pour in, such as the introduction of the Timeline and Graphic search, it really doesn’t add anything to the element of ‘connectivity.’
Twitter, on the other hand, is a concept that might have just blossomed due to the emergence of Facebook, utilising all the things that Facebook lacked and locked down a particular niche which had a taste for blogging, but really wasn’t determined to do it the way it is supposed to be done; via a blogging website. That is okay, I suppose. Seriously, as long as you get to share things on your mind, in short excerpts, it makes it all the more interesting and encouraging for any reader to read.
So when finally Twitter started to generate some excitement amongst the ‘hippies’, it grew. There you go – being hippie isn’t so bad after all. These people are responsible for making things like Twitter a success. They tend to appreciate the effort and the potential behind such a grasping social network. In short, may be they realised that Twitter was a new way to get their message across. Fair enough. But there is a very strange, uncanny behavioural similarity between celebrities and these hippies, which sometimes gets me wondering if they’re the same. You see, all my life I have been under the illusion that somehow if man was given enough power to generate a massive following, like a cult, he would not be mired by the paltry details of life lived by a street man. Somehow, that power must be strong enough to infiltrate and corrupt ‘normal’ thoughts and seep into the action of the celebrity’s daily life. To some degree, I was right. Given the enormous amount of attention these people are afforded, no wonder do they come out and tweet things that really concerns no one but themselves. Narcissistic fools. If the media talks about them so much, haven’t they heard enough already? No, they haven’t. They still want to talk about themselves. Furthermore, what I find perplexing is the religious following of ‘sermons’ that celebrities often ‘preach’ on Twitter. For me, all of the condolences, estimations, analogies and intellectual discourse seems a little forced. Trying to get the limelight back on themselves when the conditions prevailing steal the show. Perhaps it’s natural by then, you know. All of that toxic attention does lead to withdrawal difficulties when taken away.
All of this thinking, however, did not stop me from following celebrities like a tired, jealous fan. I suppose that’s the irony of life; they say that people are only jealous of you because they don’t have what you have, but I don’t want to be like them, yet I still desire to peek into their windows of life, and see how they live it. Footballers mostly are good people. They talk about things in pretty much the same way we do, and sometimes their expert opinions on their own sport can be used as a reference to facilitate kicking some ass during a friendly discussion amongst us football fanatics.
The other celebrities? The people engaged in artistic pursuit? Nah, most of them are just attention seeking brats flying around a mob of dimwits like a fly around a huge light. They talk about the most random and stupid of things one can imagine. You might now want to raise a question here, too: “Why do you read and follow whatever they write then, huh?”. I’d say that this would be a fair jibe traded towards my direction, but I am not without an answer. You see, you can really judge without content. That’s obvious, really. But there is more – ‘Retweet’ option from Twitter is a pretty generous one. They say that you should spread laughter around, and that’s what many people do; retweeting ‘stupid’ tweets from stupid artists help me have a laugh whenever I need one. I remember when someone retweeted Veena Malik a.k.a The Drama Queen (Please, forgive me). It went as follows: “On a shopping spree! Phew!”. Phew? Perhaps that’s an expression used when you get some slack after a hectic period. But is acting hectic? Is dancing almost naked in a song anywhere near hectic? I guess not. Makes my suspicion about artists being over-paid beyond bounds even more concrete.
Not all celebrities are bad, though. You can always follow Piers Morgan, and every other guy who he has a problem with. Entertainment, I tell you. Pure fucking entertainment. And don’t forget Joey Barton. You can’t help but let out a chuckle when he says “I was used to be mentioned in the same league as Messi, once” or when he famously taunted Eden Hazard for ‘not hitting the ball boy hard enough.” Piers is in a league of his own. Scribing names such as ‘Bench-warmer’ and ‘Shrek’ for Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney, he can sometimes talks sense besides Arsenal football club, too.
There is another great side to Twitter; the ability to interact with all these celebrities. I can only wonder if these celebrities count the number of followers or retweets that their tweets generate, or even responses because had I been in their place, I might have done the same. But I suppose talking to a celebrity wouldn’t be so special either. You see, I stumbled across a young man’s profile and he had an exciting bio-detail to display to the rest of the world; “Oscar knows that I exist.” Actually, that was the only thing written in the profile information. What a shame, I tell you. What a shame. Placing a sentiment as huge as your identity over a mere retweet or possibly a favourite. Criminal. But whatever makes you happy, makes you happy so I guess you do it (of-course breaking the law doesn’t count).
If you’re wondering that I’m just bashing all these celebrity-response craving idiots because I haven’t had one myself, then you’re mistaken. I gave it a shot, too, when I was swayed by the same sentiment that I unreservedly talked of just a few sentences before. I succeeded at the first attempt, and apparently all the charm of seeking a response just whiskered away.
And back to some hippies out there. You can write ‘student activist, feminist, Motherfucker Jones’ or whatever you wish to, but don’t just be cocky. What I find ironic about these people is that way they betray the very principles they happen to worship. Tolerance of opinion stands in the same line. I happen to follow some Atheists who will take every opportunity to talk foul about religion, but if you attack their opinions with similar ferocity, they project themselves as a strangled minority. Politics, you see. The same kind they bitch about in every other tweet. I don’t have anything against them as far as their right to say all these things are concerned. But as you might have guessed, I love exercising this right myself, too. Another thing I despise about these people is their incapability to face arguments. Ironic again because when many of them are debaters, they should not be afraid of arguments. They will write something inciting, and then distance themselves from the people they do not know in real life if they throw in any argument to the mix, which is a shame. For once, find your integrity. You cry the tears of happiness when your follower count reaches a thousand, of which you know only a handful, but then when some of these unknown people want to add in and talk about what you think, you refuse any approach for engagement. Shame on you.
If you really want to make your Twitter experience wonderful, then I’d recommend using the service via a client or from a smart phone. The thing with the website is, that it plainly sucks. It sucks and everyone knows this. The reasons as to why it sucks are not hard to find, either. Let me show you what I mean.
There. You see, when using Twitter from the website itself, you cannot keep track of interactions or direct messages or things of such sort directly because you could have only one thing open at a time. What Twitter clients, and smart phone applications (I don’t own a smart phone so I don’t know if it would apply to it, but anyway) offer you is the ability to simultaneously view your Timeline, Interactions, direct messages, your own tweets or someone else’s interactions through the use of colours. These are supremely efficient. Let me show you what I really mean.
And that is all, my friends. This is all that I have so far gathered from the adventure on Twitter over the past month (that’s when I became active). If you have any thoughts to add on to, then please comment below. Otherwise, spread this shit around on Twitter. Thank you. #ILoveYouAll