Give and Take

The path from interdependence to success

Why I Was Wrong About Twitter

Twitter opens the door to debating about questions like this: Outside psychology, what profession has the most insight into human behavior? Read More

Twitter is for dodos. I prefer to keep my head in the sand.

I wonder if that insufferable Aspie fuck Jack Dorsey paid you to write this article. Why should I or anyone else give a shit what Kim Kardashian is doing on the toilet? I bet I know already: she's breaking the seat.

You left out the part that Twitter, like all social media and Internet outlets, is an NSA/GCHQ shill. Even if Obama waved his magic wand and made the NSA disappear (or Cameron with GCHQ), Twitter et. al. still want to harvest your data for use in "targeted advertising." Any attempts to curb or prohibit that through heavily restrictive privacy laws would be lambasted by Republicans as an effort for "government to seize control of free-market enterprise." Nobody balks when the EU hurls justified slings and arrows at Google, Microsoft and Facebook, but then again, those crickets are chirping in the EU, not here. Spying by both governments and corporations is just one of the 16,777,216 reasons I avoid all forms of social media at all costs. Your reasons for hamming it up on Twatter have nothing to do with me, because

1) I don't have a book/movie/blog/sex tape to promote. I hate blogs (and porn); nobody reads books anymore (and when I do, it's a private activity I use to avoid people). I also have a better chance of winning the lottery while getting struck by lightning and then abducted by a UFO than I do of being in the movies. I haven't even been to the movies in some 10 years or so. Which brings me to #2 on this list (and how apropos, considering I already mentioned "number two"). #shameless #narcissism #millennials #whyarepeopleputtingnumbersignsinfrontofletters #buyavowel

2) I don't care about Conan or Fallon or any moron celebrity. I liked Leno, and Leno doesn't have a Twitter account. Fallon is just not funny because he apparently outsources his writing staff to losers on Reddit, and the Internet isn't funny either. Conan is sophomoric, and Kimmel is downright perverse. That knocks out late-night talk show hosts whose random jawing has no impact on my life. Shall we move onto the category "1980s Teen Actors" or "SNL Cast Members 1986-94"? I'll take @MollyRingwald and @MikeMyers for 140 characters, Alex. Or not. #Winning #TeamLeno

3) I don't know, or care, who the fuck Gary whatsisname is. I'm guessing he's a golfer or one of those lame, spammy Warrior Forum self-help gurus that I want nothing to do with either. #TheSecret #ToGettingRich #MeansGettingPeople #ToWasteMoney #OnADumbSelfHelpBook

4) I don't know anyone personally who uses it, and don't want to know them either. #GetOffMyLawn

5) I don't "keep track" of what I surf/read online, and have no interest in "sharing" it with others. Why should I if it's there for the taking? Let them find it themselves if they're so inclined. I swore off clicking "shared" links from people after someone sent me a Rick Roll in an e-mail. You don't know if that New York Times article about cat videos (or that cat video about the New York Times) is really a phishing link or a virus or something worse. #goatse #lemonparty #YouCantUnseeThat

6) I don't live in Egypt, Syria or any of those regimes. By the time the NWO/Fourth Reich "comes for the Twitterers," there will be no one left with requisite social skills to speak out for me. #1938 #NeoStasiAgency

7) I don't care about advice nuggets from a pop psychologist. Or random quotes from dead world leaders. I bet most of those people posting about Nelson Mandela thought he was related to "Howie Mandela." #NotMorganFreeman

8) I keep my political leanings confined to the ballot box. I mentioned Republicans in the post, but am an Independent and feel the whole entire system is corrupt. How do you know a politician, any politician, is lying? Check and see if his/her mouth is open and words are coming out. RT @bjclinton #1998calleditwantsitsmemeback

9) I get my human-behavior insights from Sartre. #hellisotherpeople #nuffsaid

10) This comment is already way longer than 140 characters. #HashtagsSuck #thatsapoundsigneverywherebutbritain

Honorable mentions for "Tucker Max is a misogynistic douche," "there is no news in the truth and there is no truth in the news" and "I'm getting sick of Family Guy references all over the Internet and I bet Seth MacFarlane is too."

I will probably never have the (dubious?) fortune of having a major name like Viking publish a book for me, but if ever it were to come to that point, I'd withdraw my agreement with them if it meant I had to bother with the kind of aggravating bullshit found on social media. The website linked to by my username should give you a good idea of just how stupid Twitter really is. After all, maybe it's true that you can judge a person by the company he... Tweets.

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Adam Grant, Ph.D., is a professor at Wharton and the author of Give and Take.


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