It sucks. It blows. It’s useless. It’s too expensive. It feels too cheap. It doesn’t do enough. It’s too complex. They don’t care.
Bitching is such a succinct form of expression. It doesn’t require or usually entail deep analysis. It’s the easiest way to write something “interesting”. Readers flock to controversy, dissent, and drama. The words of bitching are short and carry plenty of punch for that drama.
This makes bitching a perfect fit for the 140 characters of Twitter.
It takes a lot less work than writing a blog entry, but gives you the same rush of making your voice heard. Telling it to The Man. Shout “so what are you gonna do about it?” (after the other guy left the bar). It opens up the process of wide-area bitching to a whole new group of people who otherwise wouldn’t have gone public with their opinion — or even realized they had one.
That’s not a slam on Twitter, by the way. I’ve been truly impressed with the other kinds of behavior and new forms of interaction that it is fostering. For the more creative outlets, the 140 character limit is a brilliant limitation.
Rather, I think it’s just a form fit for the human desire to find fellowship in dissent. Twitter made it as easy to post “it sucks” as it is to think it. And with no draft mode or no need to fill in paragraphs of thought before pressing publish, there’s little time for rewrites or regret.
That will undoubtedly lead to some very special, inciteful bite-size nuggets of opinion that would not otherwise be shared. But we’ll have to chew through a lot of fat to get to the meat.