Jonathan Franzen hates social media
At an appearance at Tulane University last night, author Jami Attenberg recorded some opinions shared by Jonathan Franzen about certain social media sites:
"...I personally was on Facebook for two weeks as part of a piece of journalism I was writing-it seems sort of dumb to me. Twitter is unspeakably irritating. Twitter stands for everything I oppose...it's hard to cite facts or create an argument in 140 characters...it's like if Kafka had decided to make a video semaphoring The Metamorphosis. Or it's like writing a novel without the letter 'P'...It's the ultimate irresponsible medium ... People I care about are readers...particularly serious readers and writers, these are my people. And we do not like to yak about ourselves."
Twitterers have hit back with the hashtag #JonathanFranzenHates. As Attenberg remarked, it appears as though Franzen has entirely lost touch with the reality of the non-famous. Namely, that most writers haven't been on Oprah and actually find Twitter to be an effective promotional tool. It could also just be that Franzen is a bit of a luddite completely immersed in doing what he's good at (writing thousand-page novels) and can't look beyond the Kutchers and Kardashians to appreciate the simple purity of a well-crafted 140-character tweet.
Will Franzen's remarks and #JonathanFranzenHates bring forth some Gwyneth Paltrow/Goop levels of backlash? We're not sure yet, but it certainly gives the Twittersphere plenty to yak about.