Alan Dee: Blessed are the Tweeters
You may have heard that Twitter was in a spot of trouble, what with all that unpleasantness about Lord McAlpine. You hadn’t heard? Sorry, can’t tell you what it was all about, don’t want to get into any more bother...
And let’s be honest, it wasn’t the first time that the supercool social networking site had found itself in hot water.
There have been many other instances of pillocks with enough intelligence to work a computer but not enough common sense to know that someone, somewhere in the whole wide world might be offended by their loathsome insults, who have merrily posted the most disgusting comments and then wondered why everyone seemed to be getting so upset.
But to my mind you can’t lay that at the door of Twitter any more than you can blame the brickie who built the wall when someone spraypaints a four letter word on it.
If you’re going to encourage a free exchange of views, then you have to expect a few morons along the way, and the way to react is to ignore them and move on.
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But there’s a bigger threat facing Twitter, because it is in serious danger of becoming uncool.
I don’t mean the fact that the likes of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber still head the lists of the Tweeters with the most followers, who are numbered in the multiple millions.
No, I mean the fact that the God squad is getting involved, which is as sure a kiss of death to anything trendy as a dad dancing to his teenage child’s favourite band.
First the Pope got on board, which made lots of headlines even though His Holiness hasn’t actually tweeted yet – it must be tricky to get anything in 140 characters or less if your first language is German, if you ask me, but it’s early days.
Even though he hasn’t said anything yet, he already has nearly 600,000 followers – must be a slap in the face to anyone who had to work quite hard just to get up to 12, if you know what I mean.
Now we’re told that the Archbishop of Canterbury and sundry other CofE types are going to be tweeting Christmas sermons over the coming festive season.
While I’m all for snappy sermons, I can’t help thinking that a generation of chaps and chapesses who wear their collars around the wrong way, trained in spinning out the slightest random thought to fill 15 minutes on a Sunday morning, are going to struggle getting their point across in such a restricted format.
If they keep to the apostolic point, all well and good – but if they start posting pictures of their favourite stained glass windows, commenting on TV reality shows and moaning about being stuck in traffic, we can all officially write Twitter off and start looking around for the next big thing.