Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Triumph for Twitter

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I don’t know all that much about twitter. I know it is a big thing among lots of people, but 140 character conversations really don’t float my boat. Still, I had to click through on the story about how Joffrey Lupul’s twits tracked down a lost cell phone for him. In ten minutes, no less.

Accordng to the story, Lupul tried calling his number a few times before sending out a tweet offering a reward to whoever tracked it down for him.

Ten minutes later, the cab driver delivered the phone to Lupul’s condo building after the company had been flooded with calls with people trying to find it.

Wow! Great for Lupul, eh? Joffrey called it an “interesting experiment in social media” and something he might test in the future because it was kind of fun. I guess it was fun for Joffrey Lupul.

Me? If I had left my iphone in a cab, I’d have to call the cab company myself. They would tell me that they had the phone and I would have had to retrieve it from the lost and found. I would be inconvenienced and I wouldn’t have fun, but hey, I was the one who lost my phone.

Lupul was not inconvenienced. He transferred the cost of his goof to the cab company and the dispatchers who had to answer all the calls from people trying to score free Leaf tickets. The cab company paid to get the phone back to Lupul to stop the fans from calling.

I don’t think any of this makes Joffrey Lupul a bad person but I do think he acted thoughtlessly and irresponsibly. Worse, he doesn’t seem to understand that he acted thoughtlessly and irresponsibly. (Is it fair to point out that his play is often thoughtless and irresponsible too?)

This is a triumph for Twitter?

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Comments

2 Responses to “Triumph for Twitter”
  1. beingbobbyorr says:

    Defenders of Twitter will point to the story of the woman who went bike riding in the woods, got lost, took a tumble down a steep embankment, broke a leg, and when she recovered, tweeted her initial route, and how many minutes into the trek she began not recognizing the landscape . . . . . resulting in a rescue within 20 minutes.

    I barely get the twitter concept (micro-blogging crossed with a form of RSS ‘pull’?), and while I understand that there is some rhyme & reason behind the 140 character limit, it’s hard for me to grasp what message of gravitas can be conveyed in that duration. I imagine Twitter Champions would say that not every message needs to have gravitas in order to maintain a social connection among people.

    I think an argument defending Lupul would say that, while his “inconvenience cost” was transferred to other people today, tomorrow he may be part of the network that helps someone else find their cellphone, thus paying back his debt.

    What bothers me about the whole smartphone phenomena is the way everybody & their brother has their noses buried in them when out & about in public. It vastly reduces the opportunities for chance meetings & random conversations with strangers with whom we’re in proximity (i.e., at hockey games). Talk about anti-social!

  2. Tom says:

    I think an argument defending Lupul would say that, while his “inconvenience cost” was transferred to other people today, tomorrow he may be part of the network that helps someone else find their cellphone, thus paying back his debt.

    Except the inconenience cost was passed on to the cab company. I don’t think the network was inconvenienced. Those who tried to find the phone did so voluntarily in an effort to get tickets to five Leaf games and a hockey jersey. They entered a lottery for a prize worth more than $1,000.

    The cab company took it on the chin when Lupul unleashed 25,000 Leaf fans on the problem, instead of solving it himself with a phone call and a trip to the cab company office.

    I don’t think this is an indictment of Twitter. I am sure it has positives. This was a thoughtless and irresponsible use of Twitter. Worse, Lupul sees it as a fun use of the medium.

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