Follow Me On Twitter? Not!

By Cam Mather

You know what term I’m sick of? “Social Media.” My cousin Dave has often picked up on these terms that are the zeitgeist of the day, like “lifestyle” (you know you need lifestyle luncheon meats) or “combo” (cause who wants to buy a burger that isn’t part of a combo?) “Social Media” seems to be the buzzword of the day and I’m already sick of it!

Our local newscast on CJOH TV in Ottawa now has a “social media” segment where the commentator brings us up to date on what’s happening in the “blog-o-sphere” and who’s twittering about what. You can tell I’m getting old because frankly I just don’t give a crap.

So I’m going on the record today so I can be called a hypocrite later, but I think Twitter is the lamest concept on the planet. Save this blog so you can throw it back in my face 6 months from now when I start “tweeting” but right now that seems pretty unlikely. I have intelligent readers so I won’t try to hide the fact that the main reason I keep up a blog is to generate traffic to our website. This is what search engines like to see; lots of new content and reasons to direct searches to your site. This is how I sell books. I think as a former home schooling, off grid living, self-employed, opinionated woods dwelling, and independence seeking so and so, sometimes I have a unique perspective on the world. People like to come to my workshops and get this perspective so the blog is just another way to keep up the conversation.

But I am interesting enough to “Tweet” about my every stream of consciousness and the minutiae of my daily existence? Not in a million years. So who is? Justin Bieber? Well maybe – after all he’s 16 years old and has an autobiography out already. Barack Obama? Well sure, but his tweets are probably written by someone else because he’s busy trying to manage the dying days of the American Empire. So really, who could possibly be interesting enough that I’d want to follow their tweets?

It seems mostly to just be a great opportunity for people to put their foot in their mouth, and you see a great number of politicians/athletes/people in the public eye resigning or apologizing after posting tweets that they really didn’t think through. Radio announcers are into tweeting and as I listen to Tom Allen on the CBC yammering on about some subject he often directs me to learn more by following his Twitter. Come on Tom, I’m listening to you on the radio. Surely if it’s interesting enough to tweet about you could just tell me now on the radio. Why do I have to track down your Twitter account to find out this earth-shattering piece of trivia? Really, is it that interesting?

I recently saw an advertising flyer from Marks Work Warehouse that offers new $300 rechargeable lithium polymer battery “heated” boots. Now, without debating the relative merits or necessity of such a product as a natural evolution of human foot wear, the ad has this bizarre geometric shape on it. To use this geometric shape, all I have to is go to a website and download a free app to my smart phone, then once I get that working, scan this image, and it will automatically take me to a website that will show how these heated boots work. It makes me wonder why they just don’t use the 8’ x11’’, full-paged ad to tell me what I need to know and save me an hour. Do they really think their boots are so important to me that I’m going to take my Saturday afternoon to learn about them?

Go to any website today and you’ll see 6 or 8 symbols, some of which I recognize and some which are quite foreign to me. You’ll see, “Follow us on…. Facebook… Twitter…Email… RSS Feed…on your iPad.. on your iPhone…. On your Crackberry…Android…”

And if you’re in the game you’d better be available in all these formats. So you’d better train someone to figure out how to get your information formatted just so you’re accessible to everyone in every conceivable format conceivable, and there will probably be even more formats by Friday.

Sorry … got distracted there for a minute. I was just reading a tweet from some backbench politician telling me what he had for lunch. Wow. That was interesting.

So the next time someone says “Cam, you really should start tweeting” I’m going to tell them that I’ll start “tweeting” when they come up with an app that reads my mind and just posts it all by itself into all these formats so I can spend my day weeding my garlic and not be on this infernal machine! In the meantime I bought a great used book from the Salvation Army store this week. I’m off to read and unplug my brain from the matrix.

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No, I’m not on Twitter but you can subscribe to this blog to receive an email when I post something new!

4 Responses to “Follow Me On Twitter? Not!”

  • Scott:

    Twitter is pretty indicative of our self absorbed culture. Why would anybody care about my minute to minute or hour to hour thoughts or those of Justin or Paris? I am not going to learn or grow from their wisdom.
    Blogs, yes, that makes sense. Twitter is just that, meaningless noise with no discernable intelligence behind it. I only have so much time and energy and Twitter appears to be one of the best ways to squander it.

  • Neil:

    Well said Heidi!! I couldn’t agree more!

    I am currently on a contract with a large government department with over 1000 people in Information Technology. Ninety Nine percent of those people are NOT on Facebook and they don’t tweet.

    My “tweeting place” is on the red shores of PEI overlooking Northumberland Strait.

  • Heidi:

    Cam,
    Just head to the Cathedral of the Pines, to hear the only tweeting any of us needs to experience……….

  • Edanator:

    You’re right, Cam! Tweet is such a weird concept. I come to your blog to read your interesting posts. You cannot distill those into short tweet messages.

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Cam Mather and his wife Michelle live independently off the electricity grid using the sun and wind to power their home and their CSA. Cam is working towards the goal of making his home “zero-carbon” and with his extensive garden he aims to grow as much of his own food as possible. He is available to speak at conferences and other events and has motivated many people to integrate renewable energy into their lives, reduce their footprint on the planet and get started on the path to personal food, fuel and financial independence.
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