Twitter, and the Descent into Voyeurism

Originally posted April 9, 2009

I joined Twitter a few days ago. The newest territory in social networking land, Twitter seems to be the “status” feature from Facebook and nothing else — only you can view anyone’s status you want whether they know you or not.

I’m still getting used to it, and its accompanying lexicon (Why are the messages called “tweets” and not “twits”? And why am I “tweeting” and not “twittering”?). As most people I know don’t (yet) have Twitter accounts, I have a handful of real friends and acquaintances mixed in with random celebrities — one of the site’s main draws it seems.

But the whole idea you can “follow” someone without them ever knowing or following you definitely makes it feel a little voyeur-iffic.

Jimmy Fallon writes:”There is another out of shape man sitting next to me on the beach. I must be in a special ’section.’”

Kevin Smith writes: “Nursing a kid-given head cold that’s now a chest cold. Since I fathered her, ultimately did this to myself. Still… pisses me off.”

Heather B. Armstrong of Dooce.com writes: “There is a complimentary goldfish in my hotel room in Seattle. What?? Her name is Gloria, and I’m guessing she’s going to be delicious.”

Is this what we’ve come to? Following mundane, if slightly witty, comments sent out to the masses by celebrities?

I actually read recently that some celebrities have been hiring people to update Twitter for them. Methinks this is somewhat akin to Puff Daddy (Puffy? P. Diddy? Diddy? Next up – Piddly.) hiring a man to walk alongside him holding an umbrella.

I understand celebrities are busy and all. But really? We’re not even talking about complete sentences here.

Though “Piddly’s Twitterer” would be one bitchin’ job description.

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