4/28/09

Opinions and Rants #12: Communication Breakdown

Think back to the 1970's or even later. There was no email, no cell phones, no video conferencing, no cordless phones, no Twitter, no text messaging, no pagers,... and yet, we managed just fine, right? I'm not trying to be a Luddite here (after all, I'm posting this rant on a blog), but I think Twitter may be my final straw.

Twitterers take note: I don't care what you're doing right now. Whether you're trying a new pasta recipe or fixing a toilet, I could give a shit. Statement of fact: Anybody that says they care about your Twitter messages is either lying or has no life.

As for cell phones, unless you are in a hostage situation or trapped underneath rubble after an earthquake, turn the damn things off. Whatever you're saying can wait. I'm tired of hearing men in grocery stores discuss with their wives for thirty minutes about which brand of bacon to buy. For the love of God, just buy the effing Tyson brand and move on! It's all hot greasy salty meat that kills you -it doesn't really freaking matter! And don't get me started about cell phones in movie theaters...

99.99999% of my emails are garbage, and the remaining 0.00001% would have been better via the telephone. I've never read a text message that was worth repeating, and the video conferences at work usually are generally awkward and stilted and would have worked much better over the phone or in person.

Everyone says it's so great and wonderful how we are so globally interconnected now - but no one ever seems to stop and think that more is not always better. Look at the 24 hour news networks for an example of how more actually is less. Instead of 30 minutes of genuine news, we get swine flu sensationalism and celeb gossip for 24 hours straight! Now, instead of a meaningful phone call from someone, we get a constant barrage of tweets and texts about NOTHING.

24 comments:

  1. I agree with you on Twitter. I don't see the point. I use it to post when I have a new blog (if I remember to do that) and sometimes a cool song I am in the mood to share. Otherwise, I must be super-boring to follow.

    With cell phones, I do think too much is too much. Remember when we used to go somewhere, say the beach, and be nearly cut off from everyone we knew for the day? And it was OKAY? I sometimes miss that freedom, that solitude.

    As for email, I actually prefer it. Have NEVER been a big phone person and I think I tend to be overly quiet when I am on it. With email, I can express myself better. But, that may just be me.

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  2. Tell it preacher! When the legislature must pass a law making it illegal to text while driving, something is sorely wrong. I will even take it one step further. I can't even stand listening to messages over the Public Address system at work. I say we go back to smoke signals or maybe Morse Code. Less is definitely more. I think Jeff Spicoli said it best, "All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine!" Jeff didn't say anything about Twitter.

    P.S. Thankfully, I don't even know what a Twitter is!?

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  3. When cell phone first came out they were called "car phones." Remember that? My thought at the time was, "If I'm in my car, I don't WANT anyone contacting me. It's the only alone time I get."
    We now have a prepaid cell phone that we use on trips out of town, or the wife will take it if she leaves the kids at home, but that's about it.
    I work at a university, and man, the kids never seem to have a moment's silence or alone time with ipods and cell phones and facebook. How are they supposed to think deep thoughts and discover the meaning of life and all that stuff? Or at least find the connections between their sociology and literature classes?

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  4. Bad things should happen to those jackasses that wear the little Star Trek device in their ear talking to the air... and when you see that they are alone yet talking you naturally think they must be saying something to you. Then when you politely say "I'm sorry, did you say something?" they hold up the hand in the classic, egocentric "talk to the hand" gesture!

    Maybe the hand should be removed? Idiots.

    As far as Twitter: I think you follow the wrong people. I get a ton of great links from Joey Altruda.

    By the way, I love this blog. Works well with Google Reader.

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  5. Twitter blows. I hated Facebook until I started reconnecting with old friends from the late '70's and '80's.

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  6. Twitter: I'm too boring for Twitter. Who would want to hear that I found the TV remote that was missing??

    Cell Phones: I know what you mean about the movie theater. I rarely go anymore as it seems the theater rules I was taught as a kid (be quiet, sit down, and put away anything that may distract others) are considered passe in today's world.

    Email: I do like being able to save an email for backup. That said, I could do without those idiotic emails that I am supposed to return to the sender and also spam other women with to prove that we are BFFs or something. *rolls eyes*

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  7. Well said brutha....twitter is oh-so-overhyped. Blogging is much better, and more educational!

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  8. I would have followed Keith Moon on Twitter, and maybe Wilt Chamberlain or Bon Scott. But guys that lead a life that I'd be interested in reading about don't stop to twitter.

    Robert Plant Twitter circa 1971:
    "Just banged 548 consecutive groupies, downed a fifth of gin, and ate breakfast..."

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  9. I so agree with you. I've had people tell me I should get on Twitter. I looked it over and hated it. Even though I'm addicted to the internet, so much of what I do up here is a waste of time. Much of what comes into my inbox is junk. I have a cell phone, but it's more for emergencies. I hate when people call at the most inconvenient times or want to text message. I'm tired of seeing and hearing all these people always on their phones whether they are in their car, in the grocery store, you name it. I love some things about modern tech, but at the same time I miss the days of the past when we didn't have all this stuff. I just don't think it's made life any easier. You can't get away from anything or anyone anymore.

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  10. I don't have a cell phone, I've never texted a message, and I've never twittered. I also don't own a television. I've got a dvd player in my computer, but I've never used it. I may use the dvd player one of these days, I'd love to see Harold and Maude again, or a couple of other movies.

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  11. So gil, you've never told me who your profile pic is. Is it you??

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  12. Keith - I hope you realize any young kid reading these comments thinks we sound like a bunch of whining old men... (in old man voice: Hey you whippersnappers get off my lawn!.. kids these days with their portable telephones, who needs 'em!)

    joe - Your real name wouldn't happen to be Grizzly Adams would it? Do you have a toaster? :-)

    Seriously, I envy that. This stuff is all distraction and doesn't really provide true happiness - probably creates more stress than peace.

    No that's not me in the pic. I haven't put any pictures of myself up because I like to be able to say what I want.

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  13. So Twitter is for twits?

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  14. Haha. Yes, a toaster, a gas oven, and a microwave. Microwaves are great for making hot dogs.

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  15. You're not going to tell me who your pic is, are you...

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  16. Gilligan wrote: I hope you realize any young kid reading these comments thinks we sound like a bunch of whining old men... I'm not a guy, but I do have some really cool flame stickers on my walker and oxygen tank.

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  17. Oh amen brother. I had a twitter account for a bit but never used it and finally nuked it along with facebook awhile ago. Fuck this shit, I'm tired of it and believe me - being a professor just amplifies my hatred of cell phones and texting. For the record, I am for cell phones - but it's in HOW you use these emerging "communication" technologies - and the average idiot (both male and female) lack the common sense and decency to use them appropriately. Great post you 21st century Luddite (the proto-title to your blog as i recall!)

    Chick

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  18. I use the twitter thing, theoretically, to promote my blogs but I notice I never really do any updates to speak of. I try. A couple bloggers I respect use it and I am able to message a couple people via Twitter whom I cannot through blog comments fro some reason. the same with Facebook. I try to promote the blog there and can stay in some sort of contact with people from China. If I die people will likely find out over Facebook or Twitter. I see them as having some sort of value but I am not very involved enough to exploit whatever value that is.

    Myspace is not blocked in China any loner (the video portion is) and after months I have all of three friends there!!! One is wrestling/rockabilly promoter Johnny Legend, one is Keith and the other a Jimmy Page girl. I can set these sites up but I hate to maintain them later.

    I use a cell phone here in China. I have a nice one too and cracked the cover and still feel bad. A little camera and all inside it. It is necessary here almost. But like Chick I am a teacher (ESL... sort of the Happy Meal of the teaching profession) and hate that shit in class. I have students here who forget pen, paper, book and dictionary but by God they will never forget that cell phone or PSP. I hate taking them from students as it wastes energy. Why the f__K come to a language class and set there with an MP3 player on while texting your goofy boyfriend in another class.

    Geesh, now you got me in a bad mood :(

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  19. You are preaching to the choir here brother. I don't get it either. I feel like the time in my youth when I no longer knew every new song that came out and I was better for it. You can't spell TWIT without TWITTER

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  20. Oh. My. Potatoes. You know what I just realized? My nephew, who is old enough to talk, dress himself, etc, has never lived in a world without Twitter.

    This terrifies me.

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  21. AnonymousJuly 07, 2011

    I completely agree I have a facebook and a twitter yet 9 times outta 10 im only on my facebook

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  22. You need to use them for what they are good for. Facebook is ok for some social connection whereas Twitter isn't. What twitter IS good for is keeping an eye on the news. I use it mainly for keeping tabs on journalists and News Agencies all over the world. I use it to follow the CFA and SES emergency bulletins for where I live. As a media photographer it's a great work tool.

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