This Is What’s Wrong With Social Media

Okay, let’s just blow right by why in the hell it’s 6:30 in the morning and I’m reading likable media’s year-end wrap up post “The Top 10 Most Important Tweets of 2010.” But, in all fairness, it wasn’t bad. Writer Michele Weisman has some interesting picks. Her No. 1? The first live tweet from space by @Astro TJ, astronaut Timothy Creamer. Her No. 10, dubbed “most newsworthy tweet,” is the “Wikileaks,org domain killed” message from just a few days ago. But then there’s this, @kanyewest’s “I’m sorry Taylor.” tweet, which at No. 13, made it into the honorable mention category. What bugs me about this is not just because who gives a shit, really, but because of why it was deemed important in the first place. Here’s what Weisman says:

Why it’s important: Twitter has transformed the way the public receives and communicates information. Rapper Kanye West’s apology refers to last year’s VMA incident. West grabbed the mic from Taylor Swift as she accepted her award for best female music video, and directed the attention to Beyonce. Whether this was staged or not, this unforgettable incident was turned into an Internet sensation. For whatever reason, West used his Twitter stream as a means of communication to attempt to recreate his tainted brand image.

As you might expect, it’s that “Whether this was staged or not …” sentence where it all falls apart for me. The “unforgettable” and “sensation” just adds more fuel to the fire. Why? (I mean, really, Tim, why?) Well, I get what she’s saying, that the simple fact of a celebrity using twitter in this way is significant. But don’t we all now use social media tools as they become available? I mean, I learned about this top 10 post on twitter this morning, from a Vadim Lavrusik tweet. So, let’s try to keep some perspective here. I happen to believe all of this social media stuff truly is transformative. But it also has a tendency to amplify everything, and so it’s important to keep a check on that as you think and write about it. It really does matter whether Kanye West’s actions were staged or not. It was, it is, forgettable. The fact that it became a “sensation” doesn’t confer any special importance on it. And, when it comes right down to it, it’s not so much important when we see something like twitter being used in the branding & marketing game as it is boring and obvious and, well, whatever the opposite of what news is.

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About knockemdown

Multimedia producer
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2 Responses to This Is What’s Wrong With Social Media

  1. Steve says:

    The beauty of Twitter is that it is free and open to all–from the truly profound who clearly share valuable information to the narcissitc attention grabbers. Twitter is a new platform which will mature as its user base matures. For now, those of us with a brain must filter out the noise and garbage (which seems to make up 90% of the tweets) I am encoraged that Likeable’s Michele Weisman, the author of the blog chose some newsworthy and interesting tweets. Not bad for a 20 something. There is hope for the future!

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