You’ve been Kutcherised

So I’ve been getting a lot of heat (read: one comment) on why I love to make fun of Twitter. And I admit, Twitter is a useful device; it’s free, fast, and connects us to people  But do you want to know what my beef with it is? No? Well I’m going to tell you anyway.

Primarily, it’s the fact that it has changed the way news is reported, and that this has led to the decimation of newspapers. The ease and speed of Twitter’s ability to convey news stories is unrivalled. Often stories are broken on Twitter before they are announced at press releases or even discovered by journalists, and in a time where people want breadth, not depth, of information, it is the perfect medium. Yet this is the problem- with the instantaneous nature of Twittering comes a dulling of opinion. I’m not stupid enough to think that people, in turn, are stupid enough to get their news off Twitter. However, I do believe that some of their interpretations of events are influenced by it, and are hence limited in their nature (to 140 characters to be precise). With a newspaper, columnists are very often paid to give their opinion on such matters and as a result have more time to get high and consider the story from an existential perspective. Or they could be boring, and just give an informed opinion. Either way, the quality of their work is infinitely greater than the ‘insights’ of Twitterers, who may take things out of context and just take it at face value.

What am I actually getting at? Hmm, that’s a good question. I suppose it’s that Twitter, by revolutionising news, has actually made it irrelevant. People don’t seem to want to know what the news is as much as they want to know what the public consensus is regarding it. When Patrick Swayze died, much media attention was focused on the tributes flowing from celebrity Twitterers. How can this be a good thing for society, when we are more focused on the reaction to someone’s death than the actual person who died? Additionally, despite its potential to allow for the diversification of opinions, it seems Twitter is actually breeding homogeneity. I mean, when Michael Jackson died (sorry for the continual dead celebrity usage), surely there were celebrities thinking “There goes one of the most batshit crazy music identities of the last thirty years. You’re next, Phil Spector.” But instead, he was given a mulligan on his last twenty years; the focus remained firmly on his admittedly spectacular musical achievements. So basically Twitter has developed into an extension of a celebrity’s PR. That, or a breeding ground for their craziness (see: Ron Artest, the NBA’s most insane player ever).

Another thing I dislike about Twitter is the amount of crap people post about their everyday lives. You just hopped a bath? Good for you, but I really didn’t want to know that. Oh wait, you’re now out of the bath and doing your hair? And now you’re reading the new Dan Brown book which is OMG the best book EVA lol? WHO CARES!

This also extends to celebrities. I understand that it’s a good way for them to connect with their fans and all that. But we don’t want to know all the details of your life. I’m looking at you, John Mayer. See, us commonfolk idolise you guys because we think you lead impossibly glamorous lives. So please, don’t ruin the illusion by Tweeting on the toilet.      

One more thing that I dislike about Twitter- it gives unwarranted attention to celebrities fading out of public view. For the past few years, if you wanted a career boost you might have had to go on some god-awful reality show like Dancing with the Stars. But now, B-movie stars like Ashton Kutcher are back in vogue, all because they beat CNN to be the first Twitterer with 1 million followers. Really? A photogenic twentysomething is more popular than a faceless conglomerate? Who would’ve guessed!

On a positive note though, I am happy to report that the overabundance of Twitter usage in the NBA and NFL has led to special codes of conduct being introduced to deal with social-networking etiquette, and timeframes for when it is acceptable to Tweet. In other words; footballers are being told they are writing too much. What is the world coming to?

By the way: I strongly encourage everybody to tune in to Media Watch if they do not already do so. A mixture of criticising and pontificating, combined with an overwhelming sense of superiority- it’s every blogger’s dream.

That is all.


19 responses to “You’ve been Kutcherised

  1. Hey, I found your blog while searching on Google your post looks very interesting for me. I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

    Robert Shumake

  2. I revoke everything negative i’ve ever said about twitter.

  3. Bryce – I’m not saying that his basic intentions are bad. For the most part I’m a fan of pulp fiction, as I’ve said before I love Matt Reilly and can’t wait for his new books. It’s not that his writing isn’t excellent, it’s that it’s totally inept. As Joe said, he wouldn’t pass high school English.

  4. i was just curious. i know the code anyway. haha. masonic connection 😉

  5. well i dont wanna ruin it for you. but kinda predictable that they are gonna break it. ill spoil a twist…. there is about 3 different ‘decryptions’. fuck interesting writing give me heck interesting plot any day. i dont pay enuf attention to single sentences. but yea i can see that basically all his writing is purely describing. still gives me sumthing to read 😛

  6. @chris – he didn’t sell multi million dollar books. he sold multiple millions of average priced books. people don’t want excellent writing it seems. i respect that he gives the people what they want.

    @smiley – i’ll agree with everything you’ve said. except i’m not so sure something would have come along and kutcherised the media, i think it would have just evolved itself. so in a way, twitter has saved the mainstream media from resorting to breadth even more than it already has.

    @smitch – did they end up breaking the code, the one with all the right angles and dots? i haven’t actually read it yet, just had a look at it.

  7. I agree with Smiley. But whatevs.

    Also: Twitter r00lz! You’re all haters. I seriously can’t believe how much people hate something who haven’t tried it. It’s like the pot calling the kettle black. People relentlessly attack Twitter yet they still let spend hours on Facebook or Myspace and the like. People say it’s pointless but there is a lot more meaningful interaction between fans and celebrities than there is on Facebook. By all means don’t use it, but if you don’t use it and never have, don’t hate on it.


    • May I just say I never said I hate it, just pointed out some facets that I dislike. And I don’t really how the pot-kettle analogy applies, but if you would like to write something on the positive aspects of Twitter I’d be more than happy to read/publish it Woods.

  8. I guess I was silly trying to take it seriously, sorry guys.

  9. is the daily telegraph a real news paper hahaha. classic

    shutup smiley

    p.s dan brown literally would not pass english at school.

  10. He might be able to keep you intrigued, but he lacks more basic skills, like constructing sentences. I think he should master those before selling multi-million dollar books, because it makes humanity look stupid.

  11. The Lost Symbol was actually quite to my liking! tho i find dan brown quite the inconsiderate writer. i literally couldnt put it down until i passed out so i went two nights without sleep and read half the book each time. Never have i had such a feeling of relief when i had finished a book. P.s. shut up smiley.

  12. yes, that number is zero

  13. @Smiley: Easy. Everybody in the western world takes a general test. This test includes questions such as “Is Twitter an acceptable substitution to actual human contact?”, “Is text speak in real conversation cool?” and “Is the Daily Telegraph a real newspaper?” Anyone who gets over a certain number of “yes”s is drowned immediately.

  14. shut up smiley

  15. I can’t help hearing a small voice in my head reply to your rhetorical questions. Who cares about trivial celebrity updates? Why, the people following them of course.

    “See, us commonfolk idolise you guys because we think you lead impossibly glamorous lives.” Maybe that used to be the case, but I think many people now get excited when someone famous shares something in common with them, shares an ordinary relatable event.

    “People don’t seem to want to know what the news is as much as they want to know what the public consensus is regarding it.” Nice observation, I agree completely. However, if Twitter didn’t exist, something else would have come along to Kutcherise the media in some way, because the demand is there. Twitter is not to blame, the people using it in ways that you find offensive or meaningless are to blame.

    So, how do we improve the situation?

  16. love the Ron Ron reference. what a headcase

  17. I love your blog. Hilarious yet informative and interesting. I started blogging a few weeks back. Have only done two posts because I got busy but will be getting back to to it soon.
    This has inspired an upcoming post (I’ve already started my next one, but after that… just you wait.)
    Enjoy midsemester break (if you’re on that now?)!

  18. I love you.

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