Thursday, March 26, 2009

You Will Be Assimilated - Tweet Tweet

I'm guessing that most people reading a blog already know about, the on-line service that let's people announce what they're doing with "tweets", messages up to 140 characters in length. Barack Obama tweeted all through the U.S. Presidential elections and has over 516,000 followers , Michael Ignatieff tweets to his 4,435 twitter fans...even Ashton Kutcher tweets, posting pictures of wife Demi Moore's lovely backside.

I think I first heard about twitter during the October election here in Canada, but didn't give it much thought. I'm already on Facebook, and figured it was basically the same thing as their status updates. Hence the reason I was surprised to read today that Twitter's user base expanded from 6 million to 10 million in just the last month.

I'm 42 and have finally come to the conclusion that I am old. Sure I'm blogging, but dammit I strive to spell things properly and fret over mundane matters like syntax. Hell, I hardly even swear! Incidentally, hell doesn't count as profanity in my book, how could it when it's certain to be my future address. The blackberry revolution has passed me by, which is something I'm increasingly grateful for.

What good is twitter to a Luddite like me? I don't have a handheld device like a blackberry, so I can't announce to the world when I'm heading to the can. This is actually a good thing, as you get older time can be a precious commodity...especially with respect to certain bodily functions. I'm not about to log-on to a computer when the urge to make toast and coffee hits me. There's probably a way I could tweet using my cell phone, but someone would have to explain it to me.

What I find curious in all this is how young people seem very concerned about civil liberties on the one hand, while jumping on every new technology no matter how Big Brotherish it may seem. Back around 2001 or 2002 I read about a a company called ADS. They created a technology called Verichip, a microchip designed to be implanted into a child's arm. The idea was to be able to track your precious little treasure with GPS technology, and never having to worry about locating a missing kid ever again. It never took off though, probably too Orwellian for most.

Now here we are just a few short years down the road and people are signing up to services like twitter in droves...posting their thoughts, activities, and whereabouts 24/7. Why bother with something as intrusive as an implanted chip when nobody goes anywhere without their cell phone or PDA? Everyone is joining the collective consciousness via new technologies, with many calling it addictive.

I can understand the voyeuristic attraction in following a political figure or a celebrity...that's part of human nature. But am I really that interested in knowing every boring detail of my friends' lives? A celebrity broadcasting his or her 'tweets' to adoring fans worldwide? Okay, that makes sense. But does anyone really care that I'm about to go and make myself a cup of coffee and toast a bagel?

If you do care, you can follow me: canukgord on twitter. I only have 2 followers and I'm so lonely. Yeah I know all that stuff I said about Orwell and 1984, but at the end of the day I guess I'm just like a lot of other people out there, an attention seeking cyberslut. Besides, maybe I can use it to drive more traffic to my blog.

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