“I bet you tweet, too.”
I hear those five words uttered all the time by my friends. Usually, they’re in some disdainful tone. It’s like using Twitter is some sort of uber-hipster thing to do. I’d like to think that Stanford is the world’s most technologically keyed-in campus, so I often can’t believe that people think using Twitter has some social stigma attached. Look, if it’s good enough to be a source of breaking world news and facilitate political revolutions in Iran, Moldova and Tunisia, I think it’s good enough for all of us, okay?
That’s not to say Twitter doesn’t have its share of inanity. I’ll admit, among others, I follow Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, The Stanford Daily and Ke$ha. Can you really blame me, though? I guarantee you that Ke$ha’s tweets about not knowing her dad’s identity or her sexual escapades are infinitely more entertaining than anything that could possibly pop up on my Facebook news feed. (The lone exception: photos of babies of my high school classmates—that always serves to help me feel better.) In fact, it’s the inanity that keeps me coming back to Twitter. I can read party tips straight from the “King of Partying” himself, Andrew W.K. Verbatim example: “PARTY TIP: Blacking out is a great way to relax.” Most of the Row is probably nodding in agreement after this three-day weekend.
Honestly though, you haven’t experienced Twitter until you stumble across the feed of one Mr. Kanye West. I could write an entire column about his tweets alone. Take this tweet from July 29th: “I specifically ordered Persian rugs with cherub imagery!!! What do I have to do to get a simple Persian rug with cherub imagery uuuuugh.” Or this one from August 28th: “Do you know where to find marble conference tables? I’m looking to have a conference…not until I get the table though.” This is the part where I’m supposed to include a joke or some witty retort, but I think Kanye has me beat on this one. I mean, what am I supposed to say? This guy is vainer than most Thetas—and that’s saying something.
Twitter is also a place that’s allowed me to talk to some (relatively) famous people. Does Facebook let you do that? My favorite celebrity Twitter conversation thus far was one I had with Christopher Chu, lead singer of The Morning Benders, an awesome indie band. We discussed the notion of arranged marriage in Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” and how it made the song seem pretty sad in the end. I’m still not sure if that conversation was serious or sarcastic, but you can’t make this stuff up.
However, my best celebrity Twitter coup will forever go down in the annals of history. This summer, I wanted to see Keane live, but tickets for their concert were something like $60 each. Being a poor college student, that wasn’t working for me. So I tweeted Richard Hughes, the drummer of Keane. He promptly replied back to tell me that he had two tickets reserved for me on Keane’s guest list for their show in Philadelphia. It’s been six months and I still can’t believe that actually happened. Do you want to continue to tell me that Twitter is stupid? I didn’t think so.
Trust me, it is Twitter’s absolute inanity that will keep you coming back. Sure, Twitter is definitely your best place for up-to-the-minute news. How did I follow every single twist of the Jim Harbaugh saga on a second-by-second basis? Twitter. But after a while, you can get that news anywhere. More than anything, Twitter is a place that allows you to get unfiltered access to people who fascinate you. It’s pure frivolity in its concept, but pure genius in its execution.
A sample tweet to illustrate that last point: “i love my ipod touch, but 8GB really just doesnt allow me the musical diversity i desire sometimes. #firstworldproblems”
Okay, that one was from me.
Follow Shane on Twitter: @ssavitsky. Still not convinced? Then just e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.