I refer, of course, to those “opposed to, or slow to adopt or incorporate into their lifestyle.”
You know who they are.
More often than not, they’re aging Baby Boomers pride themselves in things like not really knowing how to use their computers. They wouldn’t dream of texting and most certainly decry the annoying, intrusive ubiquity of smart phones.
Younger, wiser heads are largely dismissive of these worshipers of the past. Life goes on without them, so why worry about it, no biggie.
However, most people in the know recognize that not keeping up with technology is lame, unfashionable and unhip even. Nobody’s going to think you’re cool just because you’re not on Facebook or Twitter.
Or are they?
Music and entertainment gadfly Bob Lefsetz thinks the opposite.
In Lefsetz’ world, the people out there tweeting about “lunch beers” and their kid’s stomach flu are the lame brains. Does anyone still think being on Twitter’s a sign of hipness?
“I don’t want to tweet. It’s like pissing off a cliff in the dark,” Lefsetz grouses in his latest missive. “No one sees it and you risk getting yourself wet. At best, you screw up and become a pariah. Which is why Twitter is a sea of dropouts and the fawning press trumpeting its IPO doesn’t realize that sites built upon the backs of users are fads.”
The mainstream media – print and broadcast – love to carry on about how huge social media is these days. And at times it can be – like in the wake of some dramatic news – but 99 times out of 100, it’s inconsequential and pretty much a waste of everybody’s time.
How did it come to this, Lefsetz asks.
“Like every fad, once upon a time Twitter was cool,” he explains. “You know how it works, you hear about something from your hipster friends, you say you don’t need it but eventually you dive in, love it and then abandon it. Come on, how often do you update your Facebook page now?
“Furthermore, those who fan the flames of cool, the young ‘uns, are always on the hunt for the latest and the greatest, moving on to new social networks their parents are unaware of, only to abandon them when they fall out of favor, or when everybody else is there, or lose their cred.”
I mean, really, does it really matter to however many friends and family members that you finally saved up enough to buy a Micky Mantle baseball card? Or more likely, that you opted to eat lunch at Freddy’s instead of Chic-fil-A.
No offense, but who really cares?
“Do we need a real time news service?” Lefstez postulates. “One in which we can learn the comings and goings of those we’re interested in and facts from the street from the millions of reporters that the traditional media industry cannot provide? Yes.
“So you’ll find out the world ended first on Twitter. But you won’t get any analysis. That’s hard to do in 140 characters. You might even find out your favorite singer got hitched or busted or smashed his or her car in a DUI. But do we really want to know the comings and goings of everyday people? No.
“Call it the blockbuster mentality. We’re not interested in what most people do, only a few. Remember when every day your inbox was cluttered with a joke? I haven’t gotten one in years. Because people were thrilled they could connect with old friends from around the world, but they really didn’t have much to say past the initial greeting, so they sent jokes. But now everybody expects to be in contact with everybody they ever knew all the time. So there are no jokes. E-mail is for business. Maybe personal, but people complain when their inbox is being cluttered.
“Facebook was cool for a minute because you could hook up with those you’d lost touch with and burnish your own self-image, trying to tell your high school buddies you’d won. But then you realized that once you graduated, no one really cared. As a result, it’s only a hard core who are Facebooking today. And there’s only a hard core who are tweeting.
“I’ve about given up. Because unless I reach deep down inside, try to be witty and viral all the time, unless I consider it my job, almost nothing I have to say will be seen by almost anybody, and it’s just too frustrating to continue. So I’ve dropped out. And so have so many others. Oh, we’ve still got Albert Brooks and Kelly Oxford, but so many I used to follow have gone silent.”
In Lefsetz world people who tweet about the meaningless details of their lives are largely losers, wringing their hands over how many friends or Twitter followers they have. It’s like they’re in back high school vying for status and popularity with the mean girls crowd.
“Twitter followers are like virtual badges, they’re ultimately meaningless…” Lefsetz scolds. “It’s not like being the king of Twitter pays…
“Everybody in America is lonely and looking to be important. They believe someone is interested in their travails when the truth is we all live in silos, unless you’re truly famous, which comes with its own set of downsides. And the news people are trumpeting this stuff you can live without. Links to some blog or videoclip done by some hack with no impact. Or else it’s the same viral sensation you’re already aware of, like that video about the fox. And then the mainstream media hypes the same damn thing making like it’s important when it’s truly not.”
“The Internet has turned into a giant game that everybody’s trying to win at and few can. Remember when everybody was gonna have a Webpage, then a blog? How long do you think they’re gonna be interested in Tumblr or Pinterest? Remember how long Turntable.fm lasted?
“So I won’t say there’s nothing there at Twitter. There is a kernel. A nugget. But following people is time-consuming, and ever less fulfilling. As for participating yourself, why would you?”