Bricks Are Rubbish, Because You Can't Eat Noodles With Them.

I was reading an article on the Guardian website today (because I’m a liberal lefty ponce, since you ask), all about Twitters end of year round up. You know the sort of thing, what was mentioned most, which trends, er, trended the trendiest, who was most hated and picked on. Those sort of things. The comments underneath started out by discussing the content of the article – for about two inches – then descended into the usual, pointless argument about whether or not there was a point to Twitter itself.
By far the loudest side of the debate, by which I mean the side who used caps the most and relied on nonsensical, unintelligible reasoning, was that whose members were against it: those who aggressively disliked the 140 characters, follow who you want, set up of the thing. Which would be fine, except their points were blunt and made of wet cardboard and not really very pointy. So in the end, wasn’t fine.
You see, the main argument that the prosecution armed themselves with was that there was no value to the thing, that it was bad simply because it was what it was. Which is a dreadful argument. You don’t have to use it – Twitter – and if you do you can choose what little snippets of information appear in your ‘feed’, be it news links, celebrity gossip, jokes, or facts about your favourite sporting event. It’s fairly self tailored and choice is wide, because there is a lot of stuff out there it turns out. Saying it’s rubbish because you don’t like it, not that you’ve used it, and you wouldn’t anyway because you don’t like it, makes you sound a bit of a twat. I don’t pick up a fork, attempt to use it to peel an apple, find it to be lacking in apple peeling ability, and declare that forks are just total shit, or that bricks are bloody rubbish aren’t they, because you can’t eat noodles efficiently with them, and that’s what I want to do with them. I don’t do that. I also don’t spend my time listing the reasons that nobody needs a Spork, that they could just pack two items of cutlery. I simply don’t buy a Spork, and continue with my life.
There is a similar feeling towards Facebook, although I must say that particular social network is a bit Bond Villain now. Still, many folk have written it off, not because of privacy concerns, or indeed any real understanding of how anything on the internet works, but because they simply don’t like it. It’s new. It’s different. It requires base understanding of a keyboard. Why use that when someone could just phone? Well because they don’t phone, do they? They set up groups or comment on your status. I’m not entirely happy about a lot of it, but it’s embrace or be forgotten.
It’s not even the resistance to change that grates – though it does – it’s resistance to being honest about it. If you just don’t like it, fine – say that. “I have no strong, relevant reasons for my firm, unshakeable opinion, but it is an opinion I hold nevertheless”. That sounds a whole lot better than, “I don’t like it, cos, y’know, what’s the point, and anyway, cos, there’re already things that do what it tries to do better”,  because that is water treading bullshit.
The world these people inhabit is an odd one. Why colour film, when black and white was fine? Why email, when letters will suffice? What need have we for this technology that connects and informs and entertains instantly, more often than not in the palm of our hands, when we have that old Wireless over in the corner and an original edition of the first run of The Encyclopaedia Britannica? Why Cheesestrings, when… well actually, why Cheesestrings? But you get the idea. Change comes with progression and progression comes with change, not in everything, and not always for the best, but it will change anyway. It will, in the end. I’m not saying I don’t moan about some elements of the same technology, or that all change is a thing of great joy to me. No. All I’m saying is that if you don’t like it, don’t use it, but then don’t complain when you get left behind. And don’t pretend you have reasons when you only have bitter, irrational, one-day-I-will-die-and-the-many-changes-of-life-remind-me-of-this resentment.  And don’t expect me to stick to everything I say on this subject, because I’m a massive hypocrite.

So there.

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