Sunday, February 22, 2009


Oh, bloody hell, here we go again.

It seems as though there's an article in the broadsheets every week slagging off people who use the internet or technology in any way to communicate. The one I've linked to seems to have gone particularly overboard on the notion that people who use the internet or technology as a way to communicate are psychologically damaged.

"Nobody would Twitter if they had a strong sense of identity," Oliver James informs us.

"I would guess that the typical profile of a "follower" is someone who is young and feels marginalised, empty and pointless. They don't have an inner life," he also proclaims.

Odd business, isn't it? Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, blogging, online forums - they're hugely popular. Presumably, anyone using the internet to "communicate" in these ways is psychologically damaged, unable to cope with life in real time or to form bonds with real, blood and flesh human beings.

Following Oliver James' logic, nobody would have interests or hobbies of any kind. After all, if you have a hobby, you don't have a strong sense of identity. There would be no more gardeners, stamp collectors, mountaineers, antiques collectors or photographers. Everyone would be so well balanced, so content with their lot and so in touch with their real feelings that they would be sitting in darkened rooms wallowing in their own sense of worth.

If my suggestion seems over the top and nonsensical, it's surely nothing compared to the journalists/ahem, *social commentators* who carp on about the way that ordinary people are daring to use the internet to broadcast the details of their sad, pointless lives to other people who have sad, pointless lives.

After all, who would rather not know about the informed opinions of interesting, exciting, successful people such as Oliver James, Alain de Botton and Janet Street Porter? At least they have a sense of their own identity, an aspirational lifestyle, a rich inner life and don't have to prove how much better they are than the unwashed masses by providing sound bites for broadsheet features or writing long rambling articles telling people that they should go out there and GET A LIFE and MAKE REAL FRIENDS rather than sitting in front of a computer screen.

Basically, they don't have to set themselves apart from the unwashed masses by proving how different they are from them. Oh no.

I'm going off to find my lost sense of identity. I think it fell down the back of the radiator in the spare room.

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You must have lost your sense of identity, or you would have something better to do than read the opinions of professional journalists and give them any credence.
So, that's what's wrong with me!
I wonder if people who write these article having a go at the internet realise that their articles are published on the internet?
The main reason I've not yet joined Twitter or Facebook is that I'm not sociable enough, which makes me feel a bit inadequate.
I actually agree with some of what OJ says, some of it has applied to me and my addictive personality caused me to have mammoth net sessions when I should've been doing other stuff. But OJ is daft to make such a generalisation of all users of social network sites. Communicate with Twitter? It's just another type of walkie-talkie but what some people post does seem pointless, which isn't different to my pointless blog posts, come to think of it. I just found Twitter to be a bit naf when I can do what it does on my munterspace site.
I have a strong sense of my identity. I am a blow up doll who looks lke a morph of Marilyn Monroe and Scarlett Johansson. What's the problem?
I love these people. They're like the late Roman Empire, aren't they? Hopelessly inbred, mad, trumpeting about how great they are, complaining about the barbarians at the gates, and wondering where the barbarians 'find the time' to construct their siege engines.

I love the way they think they can make their living pontificating to the rest of us and at the same time complaining about the rest of us pontificating.

A Wellington used to say in the Perishers, "I hate hypocrisy, but I'm always prepared to make an exception in my own case."
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sorry, I'll try that again.

Stuff like this gets me down because newspaper journalism is in enough trouble as it is without recognising that the communications world is changing fast.

The sly, condescending tone of this piece would have earned me a smartly-kicked arse from the news editor had I written it as a cub reporter.

Smug broadsheet "journalists" write this kind of stuff because it's all they can do. The idea of going out and getting some real news scares them stiff.
I love it when you do these Betty! I've just read the article and I think...Oh, hang on a minute, there's a squirrel in the garden, I must go and twitter about it...
@OJ "stuck in a lift with Stephen Fry. Oh bugger. He's got his mobile out. QU. No, he's just removed Alun Davies from his arse. (That's in a creeping sense of course, not of literally). Have I done too many characters yet? Up Jonathan Creake without a Puddle. Off to annoy Wossy now. Bye."
There's a bullmastiff taking a crap on my front lawn and because I don't Twitter, no one will know.

I'll damn you and Geoff to hell if I start Twittering one of these days.
Vicus - well, I did read it on a Sunday, when my identity is particularly lost and I have fuck all else to do.

Clarissa - same here. Why don't they offer us counselling?

Billy - I think they're hoping to get an irate response from internet users. All publicity is good publicity, etc. It works!

Z - I've not bothered with Facebook, which seems a bit too formal and there are too many people from the "real world" who could get in touch with you. I'm not really very sociable so just pick and choose what I want to do - which is mainly blogging and lurking.

Istvanski - why does OJ make a fuss about the "pointlessness" of Twitter, as if anything has a point? He's taking it too seriously. Okay, there are some people who spend too much time on the internet, but what should they be doing instead in their spare time?

Scarlet - I've completely mislaid my identity since I started blogging. I don't even have any mirrors in the house and have painted my face green just for the sake of it.

Bob they're going around in ever decreasing circles. I suppose that there is more and more room in the expanding number of newspaper sections that have to be filled up with half baked articles about nothing in particular. I'm an even bigger idiot for responding to them!

Malc - there does seem to be a sneery tone to these articles. The writers assume that "ordinary" people shouldn't be allowed access to any sort audience. According to them, it's okay for a journalist to spout their opinions on everything under the sun to the public because they've had journalistic training and therefore *know* what they're talking about. Hmm ...

Beth - I know, I do go on, don't I? Mind you, I still haven't found out about what happened to that squirrel ...

Rog - is OJ attempting to stop everyone in the world from using Twitter, starting with the great and good in the showbiz world, and working his way down? I'm sure he's run out of character space though. He has so much to say, after all.

MJ - is that your own bull mastiff, or someone else's? If I were you, I'd go out there and assault the dog's owner. That's just my advice. See, you didn't need to go onto Twitter to say that, did you?
Speaking for myself, I can be doing loads to improve my lot in life towards being a well balanced middle Englander instead of trawling the net. I could be doing the decorating, studying for a degree in journalism, doing stuff for charidee, converting heathens to Christianity, etc.
I've just seen tomorrow's front page Daily Mail scare story. Be very afraid...
I agree with what was written and I resemble his remarks.

Twitter can be viewed as an outlet for innane mental masturbation while vicariously rubbing shoulders with famous people who are wallowing in their cyber-self aggrandizement and cyber friends trying to evade the massive amount of effort required to maintain a decent Blog.

I have no idea why I started..I can't manage to keep up with my blogmates. In the dark, unswept corners of my cranium I realise that being restricted to 140 f*cking characters is a godsend for asshats like myself who go on and on and on and on.

If Twitter does prevail I shall be released..and then I can trash my Facebook too!

*crosses fingers
Istvanski - I seem to have missed that story. I try to avoid the Mail as much as possible because I'm getting older and have to think about my blood pressure. Anyway, I've dedicated myself to making my life as pointless as possible.

Donn - ha ha, Twitter is a "different discipline" to Blogging, isn't it? I'm capable of writing a hundred anf forty characters worth of bollocks or a few hundred words worth of bollocks. Different horses for different courses! Perhaps there should be a site with a ten word limit to posts.
You nailed it in the heart when you answered malc 'there does seem to be a sneery tone to these articles. The writers assume that "ordinary" people shouldn't be allowed access to any sort audience."
Oh lordy no! Imagine the mayhem! People can't just go around interpreting raw information for themselves! There would be ANARCHY! And it would be very bad anarchy! It would be badder anarchy than a band of adolescent spider monkeys loose in the playboy mansion with a can of vegetable shortening and a twentysack of crack even! REALLY REALLY BAD ANARCHY!!
FN - obviously, the only people who know anything about anything are people who have appeared on television. I always form my opinions after listening to *experts* who have appeared on daytime TV, such as Oliver James.
Say what you like about old Oliver Jamie, but his pizza base recipe is beyond reproach. It's something to do with the honey and olive oil, I guess... Ugly looking cunt though, isn't he?


Good God, Snagge!
You write in the same style as...as...

No, it can't be.

Can it?
Hahahaha! I got bored about 4 lines into the actual article, skipped to the end and...

"Click here to follow The Times fashion team micro-blogging live from the fashion week shows on Twitter"

Hahaha! That's like saying "Drugs are bad and you are a bad person and it's all cos of drugs. Click here to buy some special Times drugs!"

Amazing. Must confess I still haven't really got Twittering. But then I've been macroblogging for 5 years, so who's the bigger narcissist? I say ME ME ME!
Joan Crawford - yeah, he done a lot for the kiddies wiv the school dinners and that. They should give him a knighthood. He should have seen a speech therapist though.

Istvanski - it's not him, just someone pretending to be him but using a different name. The David Bowie on Twitter isn't the real David Bowie either.

Del - um, I did some Twittering from London Fashion Week, but it was made up. Perhaps The Times is trying to tempt people into micro blogging by telling them how BAAAAD it is for you. Come on over to the dark side, people!
that Times article doesn't make sense because many many famous and/or intelligent people twitter like Alan Davies, Ewan McGregor, Britney Spears, Steven Fry - or at least their assistants tweet for them.
Emma - maybe we should just assume that the assistants they get to tweet for them are young and feel marginalised, empty and pointless!
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