Monday 25 July 2011

Twitter Melt Down (Again.)

As I'd finished A Dance With Dragons on Saturday I did something I haven't been doing so much of and logged into Twitter on the way home from work.  And what a cantankerous bunch you all were.  Anger and upset was everywhere.

Not that it should have come as very much of a surprise.

The news over the weekend was pretty horrendous from all corners of the globe; famine, acts of terror, the death of a talented young celebrity: there was an awful lot for people to consume and comment on.

Of course some of the comments around Amy Winehouse's death left a lot to be desired and the 27 Club thing had the sad air of inevitability about it, but what really grieved me was the competitive thing around which was the worst tragedy.  Norway v's Amy.  There were those saying that it was distasteful to be mourning the loss of a junkie celeb in the wake of (at the time) ninety plus deaths in Norway and others upset that anyone would question there right to tweet about Amy's death.  It all got a bit messy.  Again.

And of course there were jokes.  There's always jokes.  I even made one myself, thought better of it and deleted.  I'm sure a few didn't do that and got crushed under the weight of criticism.  I got off light, it would seem but only because I suddenly realised I was being a dick.

Yes the '27' thing was crass and maybe there was some justification in people being upset at people moving on from Norway inside a day, but (and I guess this is where I sit), that's the way we are now.  Which is not to say that we forget how awful the tragedy was in Norway, far from it, but we (and Twitter is this amplified), focus on the here and now.  Amy Winehouse passed away, that was big news, it merited comment. 

I guess what I didn't get was that people couldn't see that.  I almost tweeted, 'I am no longer upset about Norway because I am upset about Winehouse,' but actually thought better of it, knowing that someone out there wouldn't get that I was taking the piss out of, well, them probably.

Did I end up unfollowing anyone?  No.  I'd fucked up myself, put my timeline right and then tweeted about someone's hair looking like a hat so it seemed a bit harsh to throw out a few unfollows, but I came pretty close.  Two days later I couldn't even tell you who had pissed me off.

Which probably sums up how twitter works.

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