Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
People can blast to the world their every move, thought and opinion via social networking Web sites, such as Twitter.
People can blast to the world their every move, thought and opinion via social networking Web sites, such as Twitter. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
You can find more of John Ridley's thoughts on his blog, Visible Man.
At the risk of sounding like that old guy in Gran Torino telling those "young punks" to "get off my lawn," it's gotten to the point that whenever I hear somebody talking about Twitter or twittering or tweeting it just makes my little tummy want to hurl.
I haven't tweeted once in my life, but I'm sick of hearing about it already. What once may have been the cool way of letting a hundred people know that you're about to go mow your lawn now has the feel of a used-to-be-fresh means of communicating. So yesterday, like two-way pagers. And AOL.
To be honest, I think tweeting jumped the shark long before ultrahip CNN got into a Twitter match against superdown Ashton Kutcher. Back when politicians started live-tweeting responses to the president's demi-State of the Union address, Twitter had already taken on all the cool of your mom getting a tattoo.
I imagine, I hope, twitterers are ultimately headed for the social networking retirement home that's the current residence of Second Life and MySpace.
But my real issue with social networking sites isn't their faddishness.
It's the hypocrisy that goes with them.
We claim to be a nation of people who take our privacy very seriously. Just mention the idea of warrantless wiretaps and expect to get hit up with a congressional investigation.
But give somebody an avatar and a URL, and he can't tweet, post or hyperlink enough personal information about himself to as many people as possible.
Seriously, does valuable broadband space need to be taken up with announcements in that creepy Facebook third-person-ese that "John is enjoying two-for-one margaritas with the rest of the IT Team at T.G.I. Fridays"?
Where is the expectation of privacy anymore? Or, more correctly, where is the expectation that people will keep their private nonsense to themselves so that those of us who still like to communicate personal information with one person at a time don't have to get caught up in somebody else's e-mail circles or listen to their one-sided cell phone conversations?
No, I don't know what's hipper; to Facebook or to Twitter. I just know for me, personally, discretion never went out of style.