The Great Network, or The Great Distraction?
So I had to select someone outside of class to observe and write about the people they follow on Twitter. Being new to Twitter, I found my options formed a rather short list. Then, my lady friend tells me about how her sister is on Twitter and how she is so into it that she gets updates automatically sent to her phone.
I was intrigued and interested in who these people were that she followed and found a need to be connected by the purse. From knowing her, I kinda knew what to expect. And I was spot on.
Outside of her circle of friends, the list of people she follows goes something like this:
Nick Jonas, Adam Lambert, Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Jesse McCartney, Taylor Swift, Perez Hilton, Ashley Tisdale, Ellen DeGeneres, and a handful of other lame celebrities.
This is my gripe with Twitter. It gives a local girl next door with a handful of friends this unfathomable connection to a playground of celebutards where she stalks and watches and grasps on to every last tweet the Jonas brothers thumb from their Twitterberries.
Am I being a bit harsh? Hardly. Case in point: This same girl logs on to Perez Hilton’s blog twice a day to get the inside scoop on all the celebrity gossip of the day.
This girl is pre-med. Intelligent. Bright. Distracted.
Who am I to knock another person’s interests? I imagine not everybody gives half a shit about things I’m interested in, like boxing and music that never sees the top 40 charts. I follow a guy by the name of R.A. The Rugged Man… yeah, seriously, that’s his name… I follow him because he’s an abstract hip hop artist and a boxing enthusiast. But at the end of the day there is a difference between a legitimate interest and a celebrity infatuation.
I should have never chosen this person to write this post about being that I have a deep-rooted, underlying annoyance for tabloid gossip junkies, but then again this is my space to write within.
But I’m a nice guy sometimes. To make up for my negative rant, I would like to add in a bonus Twitterer observation by going back to Mr. Rugged Man. As I mentioned, he is an abstract hip hop artist and a boxing enthusiast. If you browse through the people he follows on Twitter, you will find a majority of boxers and up and coming artists. This is where I point to the silver lining in the the clouds.
I don’t know how many times I have pointed out the pros and cons of social networking over the course of this semester. The truth is, it is all in how you use what is offered to you. There’s the option to use them to connect with people of like interests (and career paths) and build networks virtually rather that in the actual physical world, and there’s the option to go star-crazy and let your brain turn to a mushy, gossip laden paper weight. You can be professional about it, or you can be disillusioned and distracted. The choice is ultimately up to you.