Escape from the Twittering masses

Tweet much? Our obsession with self-obsession has hit new lows. Cringely says it's time to get over ourselves.

I'm thinking maybe this whole social media thing has gone too far. Maybe we don't really need to know what everyone we've ever encountered is doing every single moment of their lives in 140 characters or less. It's starting to distort our collective notion of reality.

The latest sign of the coming twapocalypse?

Last week David Prager, co-founder of online video site Revision3, suffered a home invasion. But instead of calling the cops, Prager shared the experience with all his Twitter pals. Here's some of what he tweeted (props to Nick Carlson at Silicon Valley Insider for capturing this exchange for posterity):

ok - he's still in the bathroom and Im now thinking a combo of hobo and drunk and sleepwalking dude - he seems late 20s - hmmm what next? .... I'm thinking the hobo part cause I can smell BO - and I really am wondering why I haven't freaked the F out ... there is no TP in my bathroom - wonder if that is complicating things for him - was gonna wait for him to come out and kick him out... haven't gone in yet ..... debating calling cops but just feel it's not needed for some reason (and probably contrary to all logic) ...

What did Prager do next? What any dude with a better connection to the Net than reality would do: He started video blogging it. [NSFW -- video contains profanity and stupidity in roughly equal measures.]

If this phenomenon were merely confined to self-obsessed 20-somethings the rest of us could safely ignore it. But Twitterhea is seeping into everything. Facebook's new home page "face-lift" is clearly designed to emulate (and maybe try to snuff out) Twitter. And no TV news show now is complete without a ticker showing the random near-thought-experiences of its viewers.

Last week, ABC's George Stephanopoulos tweeted a question at serial-Twitter user Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who promptly responded. (And since I know you're dying of curiosity, this is what the senator ate for lunch yesterday: "Healthy creamed spinach made with shallots, chicken stock, milk, little bit of flour, non fat evap milk, & small amt of fresh parmesn cheese.")

Tomorrow the former Clinton boywonder is conducting a full "Twitterview" with the notoriously nontechnical Senator John McCain. Presumably given his war injuries, he'll have someone else typing for him (maybe he'll hire Sarah Palin -- I understand she isn't doing much these days, and she's got to use that fabulous wardrobe for something).

Like the Fonz, we're arcing gracefully over the Web 2.0 shark tank, only the engine is cutting out and we're losing altitude. If we're not careful we may end up as chum -- or with smelly hobos sleeping in our beds.

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Robert X. Cringely

InfoWorld
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