I joined Twitter because I was curious (about who I knew was on there, who might join etc), but mostly for mini doses of wit from people like Agent M or Wil Wheaton, and for news/updates on some bands I liked. Two in particular stood out to me: Trent Reznor and Amanda Palmer, mostly for the surprise of the former revealing any innermost thoughts at all, and for the latter to be so open and welcoming of sharing photos, updates and her own thoughts.
Then it suddenly started to go downhill. For the record, I have been a NIN fan since my mid-teens, but I never (and still don't) have a crush on Trent Reznor. With that out of the way, you can take at face value the fact that I cannot stand to hear so many cloying, sickeningly syrupy updates on his love life. ("Now that I'm in love and gone all soft on you, can anyone recommend any romantic comedies? Got a weird urge.")
The woman in question is a singer in a band, and out of curiousity (again with the misguided curiousity) I took a peek at her updates. Almost all of them were concerned with the expensive things she was buying, the hotels she was staying at, the expensive technology she was using and the expensive food she was eating ("crab cakes") along with the frequent sex she was having. And then a few tweets about how she may or may not scratch her leg and exactly how she was choosing to eat nachos. In short, terrifyingly boring and hideously self-centred.
Surprisingly this is a perfect match for Trent, who has decided to bitch out his fans for voicing any kind of opinion. He's considerately used the "@" reply function on Twitter so that his near-600,000 legions of followers can use their frequent spare time to harrass, abuse and threaten these relatively defenceless individuals. This led to one user even deleting her account because Trent's tweets are posted on NIN.com, leading millions to reinflate his bruised ego. He tweeted: "Perfect example of the kind of complete parasitic delusional asshole that makes you regret fame: @[he mentions the offending fan by name].” Then: "And you’re not anonymous dear, you are [mentions her entire name, first, middle initial and surname] from Worcester with a criminal record.”
To me, this has ruined the Trent Reznor I grew up respecting as an artist. For someone who tweets "You know that feeling you get when somebody embarrasses themselves so badly YOU feel uncomfortable? Heard Chris Cornell's record? Jesus.", it seems pretty hypocritical that he can't take criticism himself. There are numerous other examples; just today someone was trying to raise awareness of over 400,000 victims of floods in Brazil with the hashtag "itsucks". Our man Trent took it the wrong way and replied "You know what else sucks? You."
It's sad but I think that says more about him than I care to know. This behaviour is like that of a spoiled child, worried that someone else (Korn, Chris Cornell, Marilyn Manson etc) is going to be a commercial threat to him, so he lashes out like an infant, using his army of followers to dish out his abuse. I'm sorry, Trent, but that's cyberbullying. Perhaps he should look up the case of Lori Drew. It's unacceptable. I would never say anything rude or disrespectful to someone I didn't know, but I can't help but comment on such ridiculous behaviour. As a popular musician he has a responsibility to use mass communication like Twitter in a, well...responsible manner. This is a gang mentality based on egoism and superficiality. Maybe he's been in LA too long.
Far less offensive is Amanda Palmer. I still love her. I think she's amazing, and the music that she creates is mind-blowingly unique. But to ask for donations for over 4 months worth of rent she owes (over $3000 total) then tweet that she's been drinking "ten glasses of wine" at a bar or making road trips to concerts in NYC and LA seems a bit irresponsible. Why should we hand her money for her own rent when she's living the high life? Until I get my work permit my mother is helping me out with money, but if she gave me money for rent and I just buggered off to NYC, she'd be pretty pissed (FYI, the two recent road trips were paid for).
She tweets about how she wishes her poor fans can go to her concerts for free and "my rich fans could pick up the tab". Putting out a record is one thing, but asking for rent donations on Twitter seems a bit depressing. It just seems a little narcistic to expect other people to pay your way for you when you're just partying and Twittering about it. Isn't it just glorified begging? This doesn't take away from how awesome I think her music is. It just seems so egotistical when it's paired with numerous "camera in mirror" implied-nude photos.
I get that everyone has to live their lives etc but it doesn't seem right to expect a legion of Twitter followers to carry out your dirty work, whether it's cyber bullying or ponying up cash (not checks or money orders - hmm) for rent. I hate to say it, but it seems like Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher know how to use Twitter better than any other celebrities I've seen. I don't follow them, but then thanks to the aforementioned two, I don't bother using Twitter at all anymore. I'll stick with Facebook and LJ, thanks.