Over at the Guardian’s CiF, there’s an article entitled “We middle-aged tweeters are the real addicts”. I’m not convinced by the arguments, that we’re obsessed with our smartphones, Twitter and Facebook – many people of my age seem positively in awe of smartphones (though those that have them just have to play with them conspicuously!). Interesting, by the way, that the writer, Sophie Radice, sees mid-forties as middle-aged. Hell, I see mid-sixties as middle aged, but then, I’m biased.
One thing Radice said, though, was revealing:-
“Last week, a woman of similar age to me (mid-forties) swapped apps with me for an hour at work.”
That single comment pretty much tags her as an iPhone user. They are always obsessed with apps. Not how useful they are, or how they enhance their lives, but simply the sheer goddamn number of them. I once sat next to 2 youngish guys in the pub, who spent hours just comparing apps. Stamp-collecting for the empty-headed. And just a thought, but at work? Is that really what they pay you for?
Facebook sucks for any but the massively self-obsessed. Sorry, I know a lot of you have Facebook accounts – I do, too, though it’s unused – but as far as I’m concerned I can’t do anything better on Facebook than I can without it, except maybe play witless games, like fucking Farmville or Mafia Wars. Nor do I wish to pass around hearts, or eggs, or share the minutiae of my life with a bunch of strangers who think they’re my friends just because they asked if they could be.
Twitter is an altogether different ball game. True, it too has its share of trivia and crap, and at times I’m not above adding to it, but I’ve made some good friends on Twitter (I’m housebound, so that matters), and, last night, for example, on Twitter we were aware of the Tottenham riots long before the news media broke the story, and that sort of immediacy makes the crap tolerable.
It was the same in the various demos and marches earlier in the year – police violence broadcast to the world while the BBC ignored it. As a means of staying ahead of the wave with current events, Twitter seems unbeatable. And, no, Daily Mail, it’s not the fault of Twitter that scumbags used it to organise violence last night – you can’t blame the medium for the message.
Do I have a smartphone? Absolutely. I’m on my second, an htc Desire S since you ask. Always something of a gadget freak, I wish they’d been available, along with easy to use computers (criticise Microsoft all you like, but they brought simple-to-use computers to the masses), 50 years ago – they would have opened up the life of chronically sick teenager enormously.
But why is it that an article like this always attracts Luddites who use neither smartphones, Twitter or Facebook, yet nevertheless smugly think that their opinions about technology of which they have zero experience are in some way valid? Baffling.
Do they, I wonder, feel moved to make such comments on every subject about which they know bugger all? Sadly, I think I know the answer – few are more opinionated than the ignorant.