Q and A: still with added Twitter
It’s hard to imagine anyone who is still a fan of the Twitter feed on the bottom of Q and A’s screen.
I have to admit, when it was announced that people would finally have their “thoughts”, now known as “tweets” immortalised as your favourite/least favourite commentator commentated on Q and A, I could not have been more excited.
Yes, it sounded good in theory- people at home shown that their opinion is worthwhile too. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to have a degree in Social Commentary to get a gig on Q and A. But it helps, of course.
It also symbolised ABC moving with the times, recognising that Twitter is now not only an essential part of everyday life, but of any thriving democracy.
However, it soon became apparent that this was an awful idea. Not only because in execution, it failed: repeats on ABCNews24 frequently had tweets obscured by the scrolling news bar (admittedly, I watched the ABC1 broadcast last night so they may have rectified it) and producers tended to put to air inane mumblings about panelists’
appearance, etc. Which not only did a disservice to the myriad tweeters one thousand times more erudite with brilliant insights and remarks, but also Twitter itself. The uninitiated would see those tweets and it would only reinforce the notion of Twitter being a waste of time and space, rather than a
hub of entertaining and educational interplay (most of the time).
Not to deride any tweeter who throws off a casual tweet without a four syllable word with no reference to Bob Hawke and no hashtag-based pun which happens to be screened. God help me, if you need any example of inane, look no further than this
blog. And every tweeter fires off more than a couple of casual tweets. I just believe that producer should choose more substantial tweets, if any, to
make a debate more robust.
In addition, the overuse of various ABC personalities’ tweets is not only blatant self-promotion, but unfair on the people who don’t have a prime time TV show. Surely it goes
without saying that since average joes can’t get on to the panel, they should at least have first dibs on the tweet-space.
However, just say they were to display all the most intelligent and hilarious tweets whizzing around every Monday night- and isn’t there a shiteload- would that justify the tweety bar?
Well, probably still no. If one wants to read tweets, they will have their iPhone resting in their lap of a Monday evening. If they don’t, they probably don’t want the interjections of others being thrust in their face.
And for those in the former group who do follow the #qanda feed on Twitter, if they do not have a problem with the tweets on screen, surely then it has become a competition as to who can jostle their way to the front of the mob. Sure, it could encourage people to think deeper, to come up with wittier lines than the next person- but not while some inane tweets are still screened.
Who knows, if ABC producers showed a bit more discretion in selecting tweets, I may change my mind, yet it still remains a pointless and annoying exercise.
Just a note: This is not a sour grapes piece. I have dabbled in some #qanda tweeting myself and a) Am aware that my tweets are nowhere near as oozing in political knowledge and laced with biting humor as many others so I do not expect to be on screen and b) I do not want to (notice a distinct lack of personal details on this very blog? Oh, you didn’t pay much attention? OK).
Also I am aware that 344 other people are currently writing the exact same blog post in the form of a 140 character tweet more expertly – just needed my own personal catharsis.
Image source: ABC