It’s hip to hate Twitter. In his NPR blog, John Ridley says:
At the risk of sounding like that old guy in Gran Torino telling those “young punks” to “get off my lawn,” it’s gotten to the point that whenever I hear somebody talking about Twitter or twittering or tweeting it just makes my little tummy want to hurl. I haven’t tweeted once in my life, but I’m sick of hearing about it already. [emphasis mine]
Making fun of other people’s fascinations is great sport. But not even trying it? Hmm…
I learned this once: When an innovation comes along (like Twitter or email or cable TV), there are early adopters and late adopters, smart adopters and stupid adopters.
The smart early adopters are the advance guard, first in line to buy the latest gizmo, pushing it to the extreme, risking being made fun of by wise-asses. So what if they followed a few dead ends like Betamax and 8-track tape? So what if people think they’re geeks?
The stupid early adoptors flock after whatever is cool, even if they don’t have a clue. These may be the Tweeters who crowd the bandwidth with what they had for breakfast. These are probably the ones who are seduced and victimized by the “Get 10,000 Followers Overnight!” fast-buck artists now moving in.
The smart late adopters keep an eye on the advance guard. They don’t want to waste their time testing an innovation, with all its risks. They’ll wait and see. They won’t Twitter till its usefulness is well-established. But they are open-minded. They watch the geeks experiment. They recognize the practical utility when it comes along.
The stupid late adoptors… what can I say? They are the people who will be happy with the rabbit ears on their TV till the last analog signal goes dead. Their grandchildren will browbeat them into getting Twitter accounts but their only message will ever be “I don’t know what this is for.”
People who “hate Twitter” but haven’t tried it, run the risk of being stupid, not a virtue in any era. Americans are known for our innovations — the process is sloppy, unpredictable and fun. It’s okay to be stupid — you can still listen to AM-radio talk shows — but don’t trash-talk the innovators and the curious.