Today In Twitterverse: The Narcissism Argument

In the Television section of The New York Times, Alessandra Stanley questions the need for all this inane Tweeting, especially from TV news personalities.

It’s tempting to dismiss Twitter fever as a passing fad, the Pokémon of the blogosphere. But it’s beginning to look more like yet another gateway drug to full-blown media narcissism.
Those who say Twitter is a harmless pastime, which skeptics are free to ignore, are ignoring the corrosive secondary effects. We already live in an era of me-first journalism, autobiographical blogs and first-person reportage. Even daytime cable news is clotted with Lou Dobbsian anchors who ooze self-regard and intemperate opinion.

Stanley calls out David Gregory, Norah O’Donnell and Rick Sanchez specifically. But adds, “It’s not just television, of course. Ordinary people, bloggers and even columnists and book authors, who all already have platforms for their views, feel compelled to share their split-second aperçus, no matter how mundane.”
It’s interesting to me how many blind spots there are for critics not immersed in Twitter. For instance, there’s rarely the understanding that Twitter is a place where people meet to “talk.” It’s the World’s Biggest Water Cooler, among other things. Think about the act of conversation for a minute. It’s not fireworks all the time, there are lots of dips into the mundane. So it is with Twitter.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.