As I am frequently reminded, I am alone among this site’s contributors in failing to grasp the value of Twitter, that vogue-ish haven of solipsism social networking tool that all The Kids seem to be talking about. Call me crazy, but I’m a bit skeptical on this whole “not worried about profits” thing; haven’t we been down this road? It also seems that for every user sharing news and links, there are ten users sharing their thoughts on the weather and what they plan to eat for lunch. Case in point? The Star‘s Robert Cronkleton — owner of the most awesomely dinosaurian name in all of local media — and his Twitter feed, which satisfies us all with scintillating updates (again, and again, and again…) on his most pressing personal issues. The latest? Mexican food, and his lack of ingredients therein. Oh, and how much he loves fall.
Prepare to learn more than you ever needed to know about Robert Cronkleton’s likes and dislikes.
Uh, yeah, Robert — you mentioned how much you like fall. You mentioned it four times in 21 hours, actually. And yes, we get it: we also love wearing sweatshirts for the first time, and the first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season. What we I don’t get is exactly why the rest of the world needs this information. That, and the frequent updates on what you may or may not have in the way of Mexican food ingredients.
And isn’t this just the way Twitter goes? Providing 140-character snapshots of your mundane activities isn’t social networking; it’s a glaring display of unparalleled self-absorbtion. We all have that Facebook friend who updates her status twenty times a day, often in frustratingly obscurantist terms. But it’s not intriguing — it’s annoying. The daily news cycle has mutated into a kind of worldwide overshare, in which we all think everyone else must know where we are, what we’re doing, and what we’re thinking.
To be fair, these were selective examples from Robert’s feed. He also had links to Star stories. Fine, I guess (though nothing we can’t discover by just clicking over to the paper’s site). But when did we all become so self-important? Is this gnosticism writ societally large? Perhaps the paper’s reporters can help us figure this out, after they’re done making enchiladas.