Social Media Snobbery (or, Twitter is a tool, but you don't have to be.)

If someone corrects me one more time when I say that I “twittered” something (“um, you mean you tweeted?”) I am going to scream. Really. Right at them. And is the term “social media” passé already? I unfollowed the person who tweeted that about thirty seconds after I read that tweet. See, the thing is, I really love Twitter. I follow smart people, who have interesting discussions all day. It’s wonderful. And for the people in my life who say that it’s sad that I have to find those kinds of relationships online, I say: “well why can’t you be more interesting then? Why do you make me go outside our friendship to find satisfying, intellectual conversation? YOU forced me into this!” Ahem. Sorry. Anyway, my point… Ah, yes: Twitter is just a medium. It’s just another method of communication, and in the same way it drives me bonkers when people say it breeds stupidity and hysteria (more so than any other medium? Really? Cable news anyone?...) it also drives me crazy when people act like it’s an exclusive club. So if I don’t get the terminology right, or I don't use the right hashtag, or if I say I just use the Twitter website instead of the Twitter app du jour (Tweetdeck, Tweetie, Seesmic, take your choice...) I’m persona non grata?

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s got to be rules, right? Seriously, if you only send updates telling me about your new blog posts, or trying to sell your services, or to post pictures of your cat (ok that last one I would probably forgive, and actually secretly enjoy) I will most likely not follow you. As with any community, online or not, it is wise to spend some time getting to know the culture and attempting to fit in to a certain degree. But if no one ever goes out on a limb, there will be no innovation, no growth in the community. We wouldn’t have retweets, or #followfriday, or any other cool uses for the services that weren’t imagined within the first weeks of its debut.

Do you remember when “web 2.0” was all the rage? And do you also remember how anyone who actually worked in any way with web 2.0 was no longer allowed to call it that lest they incur the derision of all their web-savvy colleagues? If you tell me that I can’t use “social media” anymore either, I’m running out of names to call what I do. Seriously, I’m about 5 minutes away from calling myself the “kewl stuff on teh intarwebz” librarian, and nobody wants that. Ok I’m lying, I want that, I totally do. But I can tell you right now that my boss isn’t going to go for it, so can we all chill out with the social media snobbery already? Maybe all the Twitter/Facebook/FriendFeed/whatever-haters will stop picking on us so much if we stop being so darn obnoxious to them… although probably not.

(For anyone not in the super-cool Twitter club already, here’s a cheat sheet to all the Twitter-related stuff mentioned here: Oh, and I’m val_forrestal on Twitter, and I promise not to make you feel stupid, even if you still call it “web 2.0”.)

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Hey, nice blog entry! Wonderfully thought out, and I wish that I could make this point to some of the people I know. I'll have to direct them here to read.

It's not just social media--it's anything new where some people feel the need to draw circles, with themselves on the hip inside and you on the ignorant outside. Thus, they make up The Rules and chastise you for breaking those rules. (There's also "getting it"--which you don't if you don't obey The Rules--and more.) Some people--a lot of people, I'm afraid--can only feel worthwhile by feeling superior to others.

I wrote about it here.

The short response is "Who died and made you king?" There are longer and gentler responses...

Well, there's an even shorter two-word, seven-letter response, but it's impolite.

I wantz to b "kewl stuff on teh intarwebz" librian 2.

I agree with everything you said.

and who are these smart people twitterererering intelligent conversation? tell me so I can follow them. intelligent conversation at 140 characters is rare; unless they just links to other pages, which shouldn't count.

I'm already a follower - and I dig your tweets/posts/RTs/twitters/shit r whatever anyone wants to call it. I remember the days (way pre 2.0) with the battle of the .gif pronunciation. People get stuck in the rutt of trying to prove themselves experts.

Twit away - I'm following! (@birdsall)

This is my take on the Twitted/Tweeted sort of argument.

So long as we all know what the hell each other is talking about, it's all good.

(And I did start following you on Twitter because of this.)

I KNEW I liked you!

Just ignore the little snots, is what I do. When (if) they grow up they will realize that no one knows it all and we can all learn something from each other.


If you're using certain words ONLY because you don't want to use the right one (rather than as you used in your example, thats different) or it actually stops something working, such as something that should be a link is just plain text, thats when I don't like it.

I still call it Web 2.0, because people know what I mean, and that is good enough for me.

But then again, the “kewl stuff on teh intarwebz” librarian has a certain ring to it... :)

I have even located some very old friends on sites like facebook who I would love to contact again, but the thought of signing up for these sites makes me gag. Especially the ones that put "Client" software onto your computer making it part of their network. Social Software like twitter has made rather a hash of the rules of polite social behavior. People do and say stuff they would never do or say in public, because half the time it would get them a punch in the nose, and the other half it would get them arrested.

of discussions I've heard about the KJV vs. NIV. It's always tough on the old reliables.

I avoided "My Space" "Facebook" and Twitter from the moment I heard about them. I dont like the idea of some of these sites that require you to put their client on your computer. Twitter has perpetual security breaches, as do most of these sites. The furthest I have gone is having an EZ Board account and a friend who set up a blog had to talk me into that.