Why Nadine Dorries MP doesn’t understand Twitter, and why she is an idiot
May 5th, 2009 at 13:16
I’ve just read a blog post by Bedfordshire Tory MP Nadine Dorries (affectionately known as ‘Mad Nad’ by detractors) where she goes and slags off Twitter in quite possibly the most uninformed way possible.
She starts off by making possibly the most banal observation about Twitter that’s it’s possible to make:
A friend showed me his twitter ‘feed’ this weekend. A cure for insomnia if I ever saw one. Did I really want to know what three hundred followers made of the film ‘In The Loop’. One opinion would do. I have absolutely no interest in knowing that someone had to take a roast dinner around to her grandmother’s house on behalf of her parents whilst visiting on Sunday.
Yeah, and what about people in cinemas who talk and rustle their food? Or kids on buses with loud music playing ringtones? You’re commentary is inspired, Nadine. Or it would be if you didn’t miss the point is such stunning fashion. The “why care?” can only be made if you fail to understand what Twitter is about. Twitter is a a meritocracy, where the most interesting people rise to the top – something you’d think a Tory would support. If you’re boring, no one will listen to you – that’s why people who only post Facebook-esque updates about what they’re eating or that they’re “happy!!!!!” only have four followers and people who try to be interesting and funny have thousands. If you’re bored by the people you see on your Twitter feed, you’re following the wrong people.
Obviously, there is a lot of seemingly trivial one-liner things on there. But to judge Twitter by individual updates is like judging a book by individual pages – the returns or “payback” are largely from the cumulative experience of following someone, and it’s exactly the same in real life. If someone you didn’t know told you what they had for lunch, you might not care – but if a friend did – say, in Nadine’s case, if it were that crazy creationist woman from the Dispatches documentary – you might be interested.
I also find Nadine saying she only wants one opinion rather than three hundred interesting. I realise she represents a Tory safe-seat but surely she must pay at least lipservice to the democratic process. You know the democratic process, right? The one where the opinions of many people are aggregated to make a judgement on something. Would it be childish to suggest that maybe she’s referring to the Bible as her “one opinion”, as she has got quite a history of Bible-bashing? Perhaps, but it isn’t going to stop me. God’s already on Twitter, anyway.
Nadine continues on:
Twittering has to be a symptom of a dysfunctional society. You know the one I’m talking about; when people don’t talk to, care about, help, consider or even interact with each other anymore.
Yeah, Twitter isn’t social media at all – look at all of it’s other functionality that isn’t designed for interacting with other people. Did Nadine’s friend actually show her Twitter, or just a rock on the ground and say that it was called Twitter? She does later refer in her post to a “lap top” with a space in there, so maybe this tech-no-lo-gy thing is all new to her?
What’s brilliant about Mad Nad’s blog post though is the last bit, where she seems to – whilst completely unaware – demolish any point she was trying to make in the first place:
At my daughters birthday party this week 60 good and close friends turned up. People she has known since nappies, playgroup, school and university. She doesn’t twitter to any of them. She may spend hours running up her phone bill, but at least she and her friends still know how to talk to, care for and laugh with each other.
Kids today! Spending so much time on the “telephone” talking to each other and interacting despite a lack of geographic proximity! This is what’s causing society to dysfunction – it’s not the disparity in the distribution of wealth, or lack of social mobility disenfranchising people causing “broken Britain” – it’s all of these new passed-buck-holding technologies.
I don’t talk to, care about, or laugh at anything on my Twitter feed. It’s a completely joyless experience. That’s why it has so many millions of users and has taken off so spectacularly recently.
Nadine ends by explaining that:
Whilst psycho analysing twitter over lunch, we came up with some things you just wouldn’t dare twitter, ever, ever. Especially if you were an MP.
Yeah, you have to be careful. You wouldn’t get many kind replies on Twitter if you were to post that you’d just voted to restrict abortion rights, for example.
I think Alan Johnson was right about the best way to campaign for the next election: David Cameron might seem tolerable but just look at the crackpots sitting behind him.Post to: [ del.icio.us ][ Digg it ][ Furl ][ Netscape ][ Newsvine ][ reddit ][ StumbleUpon ][ Yahoo MyWeb ]
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