I’ve always thought when facebook and twitter got mainstream the kids would leave for somewhere ‘cooler’… as happened to MySpace.
Now Miley Cyrus (1.1 million followers) has [reportedly] bailed on twitter… too trivial, too intrusive, too demanding, too ADHD-inspiring would be my guess. Watch her rap yourself, and observe her own entertaining ‘explanation’…
Twitter followers are not friends. For many, facebook ‘friends’ are often not friends either. Insincerity abounds. (Just like the ‘real’ world?) In my view there’s a lot of the commercial equivalent of ‘cupboard love’ happening on the internet, you know: “Follow me and I’ll follow you”, or “I’ll follow you to see if I can copy you/sell you something/clip the ticket” etc.
Is the end nigh? Not for social networking. That, like the poor, will always be with us, but this ‘instant micro-blogging’ stuff, surely we’ll start seeing a law of diminishing returns? The democratization of ‘news’ and ‘opinion’ in many cases leads to the lowest common denominator and a terrible loss of ‘value’ in exchange for the time-and-attention (today’s currency) we expend.
Like any movement or market, a tiny minority have real influence … the rest, the crowd is just a mob of ‘followers’ — some with quite unrealistic fantasies about how meaningful, influential, inspirational their efforts are. (Mea culpa, btw. I’m no-one special. But we are each, by definition, the centre of the universe.) Self-expression is a wonderful thing but don’t confuse it with influence.
Last line from Miley’s rap:
I might have some withdrawals, I was a little obsessed, but I’m peacin’ out and I’m leaving with this… ha! Goodbye.
It had 1.8 million views when I first saw it. Update: A day later 2.9 M and 38,000 comments on that youtube listing with a burgeoning catalogue of ‘video responses’. What a load on google’s servers! (HOW do they pay for this bandwidth?)
Wow, it reinforces my wonder at the ‘power of celebrity’ as discussed re Stephen Fry.