#Twitter Proves To Be #Absurd

twitter-buttonsOn June 3 I wrote a post here entitled ‘#The Absurdity of #Twitter’. It was my personal view of two aspects of Twitter, or more specifically how it is used. It was a complete generalization and non-specific to any individual or organization, and was in fact prompted by my need to redirect my creative energy and attention away from the frivolity of Twitter, and direct it toward a truly creative and productive personal endeavor. Indeed, a wise man once said that nothing significant was ever written in less than 140 characters. My energies directed elsewhere will hopefully generate both income for me and my family and much enjoyment for the general public, and maybe even you.

The first of my two motivations in writing my last apparently controversial post, was prompted by the increasing number of frankly inane repetitive hackneyed old clichés popping up again and again about #workplace issues, which is incidentally my historical field of endeavor as a lifelong workplace design consultant (27+ Years). The reality is that the repetitive nature of many tweets stems from the fact that the tweeters in the field of #Workplace, #FM or #HR, (including supplier and support industries) are sadly a very small group in the UK and further afield. Almost all of whom are great individuals or organizations, with a wealth of experience in their own field. Some are even fun and entertaining, and present a genuinely personal viewpoint devoid of any wider insidious and prosaic corporate agenda.

However, when it becomes apparent that a personal or business agenda has run it’s course, many often revert to the beginning of their short agenda and fire it all out again. This is the enemy of creativity and I would argue is a misuse of what we term a ‘Social Media’. It stifles debate and open discussion of the new and emerging ideas. Corporates spew mundane guff on Twitter, they don’t converse or debate. It’s not commercially in their interests.

Although, repetition of the bleedin’ obvious in itself is not such a bad strategy for some, especially in business, as all they are trying to do is draw in the passing chance observer, much like a good window dressing. Twitter feed after all contributes to your Google search ranking results. “Come in and have a look at our product, it’s great! it’s a quality product and yes you’ll love working with our creative and highly professional team”. It’s what business does, and in a sense you can’t blame them. Corporates aim for the centre of the proverbial bell curve graph of what’s normal and generally accepted. That’s where the big numbers are, the big bucks. They’re aiming for mass appeal, not peripheral ideas or unproven concepts, not the weird or revolutionary, as Seth Godin details in his excellent book. ‘We Are All weird’.

We can’t blame the corporates or their wage slave lackies. Although isn’t that our prerogative in an otherwise free society, criticism of philosophies, religions, business practices and general BS. It’s an outlet of personal expression, which I for one greatly value. I would argue it also serves a free society, and the wider world, very well indeed.

Sadly, the Twitter medium is often used as simply another channel or conduit to direct traffic to one’s charming little website or business. Some use it creatively to draw readers to their blogs, and those who do, more often than not have fascinating, informative and even groundbreaking views. Often quite inspiring! You know who you are. If that last sentence ended with a split infinitive, I’m not sure? There are those out there in the Twitter sphere who will helpfully point this out to me for my benefit, or is that their or they’re benefit? You’re free to make up your own assessment about the motivations of the self appointed grammar police, or should that second use of ‘Your’ have been ‘You’re’. I’ll leave that to those who care deeply about such issues. I’m recently informed my English grammar notably undermined my argument in my June 3 post. Yawn!

However, speaking exclusively for myself, and not for any others on Twitter who may be offering a professional service. I really do know recycled corporate BS when I see it, and I also know when some are punting a service or insight as new and informed, or as heavily researched, so apparently valid. Even if the premise is all-wrong. When in fact, given my experience I genuinely do know what is marketing hype, and founded upon misunderstood concepts driven by commercial imperatives. If you read any of my previous posts you’ll note that I don’t write in support of the status quo or big business. What would be the point or indeed fun in that?

I write for myself, and in order to be an informed #workplace rebel, and to challenge prevailing viewpoints, whether they pertain to industry specific seminars, research databases, workplace concepts, psychology or data gathering techniques. I even deliberately poke fun and derision at my own erstwhile industry, ‘Workplace Consulting’. I hasten to add; I do so because so few challenge the status quo, especially if you’re in the employ of another, or if you have a commercial interest in the outcome of your tweet agenda. I have no commercial agenda, and I’m not beholden to a corporate marketing strategy, and it’s a privilege and a joy! My independence is my strength, and hopefully once in a while a source of mirth and occasional insight.

My second motivation for my June 3 post on the ‘#Absurdity of #Twitter’ was to address the plethora of unending happy clappy ‘like me’ type tweets that serve no purpose at all, other than to reaffirm the existence of the tweeter as an all round good egg. The flaccid liberal output of those limp bores who think that being overtly courteous and polite, and jolly is worth reading. It isn’t. It’s plain dull, and a waste of time and effort. I obviously use the term ‘effort’ very loosely. Don’t get me wrong some of my best friends are polite and courteous, and they would say I am too. However, we don’t over emphasize the basic courtesy between us, which any decent human being employs in social circumstances. I, and my friends, clients and colleagues just converse freely. It’s a bit of a given, once one learns the basics of reading and writing and social skills. We speak openly, honestly, humorously and one hopes in an interesting and engaging manner. We laugh, we concentrate, we work and collaborate (Much as I detest the word), we disagree and ultimately we grow and just get on with our lives. It really is a short life we have isn’t it? (I’m feeling it now) Getting one’s point across is a gift, and often a relief, and shouldn’t be halted for lack of a smarmy insincere ingratiating social platitude, like ‘What a beautiful day, happy Monday everyone!’. Uurgghh!

My use and quote in my previous blog of the ‘Ricky Gervais’ phrase ‘Oh for f*&@ks sake’ was clearly my injection of a little humour to illustrate the context of recognizing and responding to a flat disappointment. That’s all. I’m fairly certain that was accepted by everyone bar one commentator on my previous post. Tiresome though this is….I don’t personally identify with the shallow prejudiced character Gervais plays in ‘The Office’, ‘David Brent’. What a nonsense! I would like to think that when I use a cultural reference to make a humorous point, it isn’t hijacked as proof positive that I lack any subtlety or depth. Please?

I will conclude by saying that this tragic post was prompted by reading an overtly insulting post on July 11, which was of a personal nature by someone who at time of writing has not yet apologized for their numerous insulting comments about me (Their post is now deleted, due to my intervention with their employer). The delightful boss of the individual in question has graciously apologized ‘unreservedly’ for their employee’s misplaced personal diatribe. Which was self evidently prompted by my June 3 post. Which you must remember as I said earlier, was about nobody in particular, and linked to no one else’s blog or site or twitter page. This errant individual thought the post was about them specifically, and so they bizarrely launched into a personal attack on me. Oh dear.

You would reasonably think that if I had successfully had their post removed within 4 hours of its publication, what’s the big deal? Well I would usually agree that it’s no concern, as the post has indeed been removed. What if the post though were about you, and it had been tagged in a tweet by the writer to their 6,000+ Twitter followers and had been retweeted on multiple occasions in that 4 hour period, and the post had directed 43 click through views to your blog? Attracting multiple negative comments. Would you not say to yourself ‘Hey, hold on a minute this is really uncalled for’?

The now deleted blog in question had said amongst other elements of character assassination…

…No, I’m not playing that game. It’s at this point I say I am not going to republish the several personal insults levelled at me and which sought to undermine my character. I trust you will believe me when I say that this individuals post was indeed removed because it was wholly misjudged and of such a personal nature that it undermined any wider point they wished to make.

Suffice to say, we are all entitled to make any point we feel motivated to make on any subject, but should never maliciously target any individual for our own petty purposes. By all means disagree with anyone’s point but you only make a fool of yourself if you make it personal and insulting. Also, if you know you have made a mistake, and caused injury and offence, the least anyone can do is say I’m sorry, I was wrong.

The Diary of Horace Wimp courtesy of ELO…