A State of Lebanese Twitter

Lebanon + Twitter

A friend of mine decided to start using Twitter recently. She followed enough people to get a taste of it and stayed on the sidelines, observing our timelines as they got busier and busier with tweets flooding their minutes and seconds, some original while others basically deja-vu.

A week later, the conclusion about the Lebanese Twitter scene that she came up with, by following the people that most of us follow and read, is the following: this is one hell of a hostile environment.

I tried to change her mind. But I wasn’t convinced it wasn’t the situation either. The past few days have not only revealed a hostile environment, they revealed an utterly disgusting infestation that I can’t begin to describe.

People on Twitter are panicking over 140 characters. Let me rephrase that: People are getting hormonal on 140 fucking characters. Do you have any idea how stupid that is? Do you have any notion how utterly ridiculous you sound when you post screenshots of your private messages with the people you want to ridicule just because you have “dirt” on them? Do you know how disgusting you come off when you screenshot your private conversations to use them as material to bully people?

Do you know how moronic it is to make fun of others because they asked for retweets fully knowing that you had also asked for retweets at a certain point? The difference is the people you asked retweets from are actually decent enough creatures not to spread your laundry for everyone to see.

The courtesy doesn’t seem to go both ways.

Some Lebanese on Twitter feel proud lately about them ridiculing teenagers, getting them feel insecure – basically bullying the bejeezus out of them. They are proud to have started Twitter wars. The Twitter community isn’t much different from its offline counterpart. And what for?

Because of a stolen tweet? Because those people are not original? Because they delete tweets? Because they tricked their way into followers? Because you think they’re dicks?

News flash: bullying, which is what many of you are doing, is not original.

The Lebanese Twitter community is witnessing a growing infestation of bullies. They are people who take pleasure in bashing others for the fun of it. As one twitter user put it on Sunday, they must check their dicks after each bullying tweet to see if it got longer. There must be an association there somehow, I’m willing to bet. And they can somehow fathom coming up with excuses to their bullying. They’re proud of it. They don’t hide it. “Nfokho” is what you get when you point it out.

Bullying cannot ever be justified, let alone when it’s about a reason as silly, as retarded, as stupid as one tweet.

You’re annoyed by someone “stealing” your oh-so-original tweets? Make it known. You’re annoyed by someone’s tweets or by the fact that they delete their tweets? That unfollow button is bigger than Jennifer Lopez’s ass. You’re annoyed by someone who’s annoying you? Block them. You don’t want to get anything from them anymore effectively making their presence non-existent? Turn off retweets. Mute them as handles, mute them as keyword, mute them as hashtag. Mute the hell out of them and just cross that bridge.

But wait. Some of you are STILL stalking those that you block. Masochism much? Are you so fixated on bringing people down that you can’t seem to move the fuck on?

I’d post some of the tweets inundating my timeline but I don’t want to give the many attention-seeking people behind them the attention they crave.

Here’s some perspective for those concerned, especially those who see a tweet getting stolen as the next coming of doomsday. I go to the hospital every day at 7:30AM. I deal with dying patients and children all day. I see grief and horror and people dealing with it on daily basis. We had to tell our patient’s mother yesterday that her bundle of joy will not live to see the tender age of 5. Then I come back home and check Twitter only to find some people acting like prepubescent teenagers with surging hormones who panic over the most meaningless of things, who treat Twitter like some holy shrine, who don’t view a tweet as just a tweet: 140 miserable characters to communicate an idea. Not to get you popular. Not to get you famous. Not to turn you into a major star, its only purpose being for you to have fun, to make friends, to let off some steam.

Isn’t that why those “major” Twitter accounts whose asses many are all hell-bent on kissing simply couldn’t care less about people stealing their tweets, about people calling them unoriginal and about many flooding them with sheer negativity and bullying and dimwittedness?

The Lebanese state of Twitter recently has sucked the fun out of what used to be a decent place for people to have decent exchanges. I met my best friend on it so I would know. People worry more about the number of retweets their tweet would get than about the things they should be worrying about. They worry about the copyright status of a joke that has been milked all the way from Mercury to Saturn. They get up in a fit about the most meaningless, worthless of things.

News flash 2.0: that internet explorer New Year joke has existed ever since Internet explorer became a source of jokes. Just an FYI for the wise asses who think their nostrils drool originality.

The only thing some people have turned Twitter into is a typical old fashioned catfight between two matriarchs in some Lebanese town who are arguing about whose progeny is first in his class. It’s downright childish, despicable and horrifying. And there are still people who look at the people on Twitter as the sign of a better future. Screw that future if this is a sample of the ride we’re in.

Here’s to those awesome people who don’t get a surge of testosterone behind the shroud of an online handle.

Thoughts On Weinergate


The latest “scandal” to hit US politics has been named Weinergate, a play on the infamous Watergate scandal, involving president Nixon.

For those who don’t know what Weinergate is, here’s a brief description of the events.

Anthony Weiner (that’s his real last name, not a pun) is a democrat representative in the state of New York. A picture of a man in underwear got sent from his twitter account to some woman. Weiner said his account got hacked. A couple of weeks later, cropped pictures of a shirtless Anthony Weiner, which were meant for another woman to see, got leaked also. That afternoon, a press conference was held in which Anthony acknowledged that he had, in fact, sent out those pictures, as well to other more explicit ones. He added that he had been in six inappropriate relationships using social media, that he wasn’t going to resign his seat and that he had his wife’s full support. She’s “the good wife” isn’t she?

Well, soon enough, this whole thing exploded in the US news and media circuit. Everyone was bashing Anthony Weiner, up and down. Parodies about the situation were made and calls for his resignation started (the most recent of which is US president Barack Obama).

What started out as tabloid gossip has turned into an American cultural frenzy, up for discussion whenever by whomever.

But should this whole “scandal” be as big as it is?

I believe not. What Anthony Weiner did is, after all, something that everyone does. Granted, it is a representation of indiscretion and dishonesty, but don’t we all do that? Why the hypocrisy? Haven’t those people, who are bashing Weiner today, sent similar pictures before, except those pictures did not come back to haunt them yet?

With the current cultural atmosphere and political craze, Anthony Weiner was also portrayed as a harasser. I don’t understand that as well. Not only did he not have any power over the women he was sexting (they could have ignored/deleted him anytime) but I believe those women had the upper hand in their virtual relationship. If Weiner was a harasser, then what do you say about he millions who send dirty pictures and receive them?

So as Weinergate gained momentum and attention shifted to it, it also shifted away from things more important than a congressman’s nakedness. After all, how messed up does the American economy need to get before people focus on how badly the current administration is handling it? Or how long do the Americans want to go without a decent healthcare plan before they cry wolf? Or when will Americans notice more intently that their troops haven’t left Iraq?

Sometimes the most hip thing in a political scene is not the one you should be discussing. And weinergate needs to die already – enough overanalyzing a horny man’s behavior.