I can’t help but think David Cameron got it right with his righteous declaration on early morning radio this week, when he said, in response to a question about his use of Twitter, “too many tweets make a twat”.
Apart from the slight ruckus this caused in the national press, it proved that even in the mind of a future Prime Minister, Twitter is now important enough to be commented on. However, we should not forget that the de rigeur choice of networking sites made by fickle youths changes with the wind on an almost daily basis. Facebook! MySpace! Bebo! It’s so hard to choose.
Trust me, the second something more interesting than hearing what Stephen Fry has to say about being stuck in a lift in under 140 characters comes along, a mass migration of Eastern European proportions will occur. The exodus of users looking for the “Next Big Thing” will lead sites like Twitter to run and away and die in the corner, as the only people using the service are OAPs with memory loss and uncool young people who have only just heard about it.
Look at Friends Reunited: possibly the biggest online brand in the world back in 2000. But, like other things that were big in 2000 (Steps, The Spice Girls, optimism among Labour supporters, mobile phones that could double as a brick, episodes of Frasier that were funny, Denise Van Outen) they have slowly slipped away to the fringes of society, never to return.
In one of its less fathomable business deals, ITV acquired Friends Reunited at a hefty price, believing it would make millions for the beleaguered broadcaster, but it turned into an enormous failure, being sold on for £50 million less than ITV paid for it almost a decade ago.
The technology that surrounds us and allegedly makes our lives much simpler has evolved so quickly it seems impossible to live in the moment without worrying you haven’t got the latest iNeed, BeepPad or MacX. With the advent of Sky HD, which gives the viewer a supposedly crystal-clear picture, people began retreating from the standard box-sets and indulging in what can only be described as the biggest waste of money in history.
My friend’s Dad – the kind that shows off the latest technological advances in his living room whenever a friend, relative or complete stranger walks in – exhibited one of the first Sky HD channels the last time I visited, showing it off like a dolly bird from The Price Is Right.
I’m not going to lie. I was unimpressed. Even if the picture were magnificent – which is arguable – I’m not sure if seeing Peter Crouch up close on a 42″ plasma television AND in High Definition is a good idea. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended the world.
This need for the latest gizmo in technology has no logic. People like my friend’s Dad have to shell out thousands of pounds each year to keep up with the Jones’s. But so few people have it, there is not even a Jones family to keep up with, merely commoners with out-of-date Freeview boxes.
Where will this boom in unneeded technology end? Surely it’s only a matter of time before I enter my friend’s house and I’m greeted by a robot servant who takes my coat, makes me a sandwich and starts hoovering. “Look Chris, it’s the VRobot i20 series. But don’t get too attached as we’re trading him for the new model which can wipe your arse as well as clean the floors”.
Furthermore, we have made a quantum leap from MP3 to MP4 players, computers can now be fitted with voice recognition systems and mobile phones have applications that turn your phone into a spirit level. Consider that ten years ago a mobile phone would have been a luxury, and we have truly sped up our discoveries of new technology. It was only seven years ago that I bought my first ever phone, and I was the first in my class to own one personally. I still remember excitedly playing my mates the ringtones, which compared to today’s numerous options, sounded like an angry toddler playing with a Fisher Price toy. It was a time before people knew what LOL meant.
Let’s be honest, technology is so important now that Presidents of the Free World like Barack Obama are delivered to The White House backed by Blueberry phones and whizz-kid WiFi systems, all of which played a massive part in his orchestrated internet, tech-savvy campaign.
If something as monumental as electing a black President can occur through political advisors grasping new technologies, then what are we waiting for? Who will join me in the Wikipedia revolution? Arm-in-arm for the Spotify coup? Together as we fight the Compare the Market overthrow?