Tweet This


When this blog was born, the many midwives in my life told me you cannot half-join the twenty first century, that a blog alone does not cut it.  Huh? was my immediate reaction to that wisdom.  But the message was consistent, and I kept hearing it.  Hearing is not necessarily believing, and my reluctant nods did not mean I was going to hold my breath and take the plunge  into social media.  I sort of liked the twentieth century.  How quaint.

Meredith’s assistant, Brooke, crawled gently up my back, patting me on the head with the re assuring guarantee that the sun would still rise in the east.   The first number of her age is a two, so clearly she was qualified to lead me into the social media swamp.  My enthusiasm was boundless.

“Okay,” Brooke said in her upbeat way, knowing there would be a struggle just down the road.  “We have to get you on Twitter and Facebook.”  Oh, boy.  Can we take those one at a time?  “Yes, Richard,” Brooke replied on the phone, probably rolling her eyes.   Brooke was remarkably patient.  “Which do you want to do first?”  I went for Twitter, figuring I would tackle the more preposterous first.

I am on Facebook, now, but I just cannot get over Twitter.

It seems to me, Twitter is the perfect vehicle for expressing opinions in a culture too preoccupied and busy for depth and detail.    It can serve the politician and pundit who like to dig deep in support of ideas, like maybe an inch.  Twitter is the communication empire built on 140 characters.  No more.  How goofy is that?

For those of us who grew up on books and newspapers, “dead trees with information smeared  on them,” according to Mark Twain, talking Twitter is like dining out on a Ritz cracker.  I am hungry all the time.  Everyone tweets, which I always thought was something you do in private.  And the game we play with ourselves is wondering why we don’t have more followers.

I am up to 370, I tell Meredith proudly.  How many do you have?  “About 79 thousand,” she answers, as I about fall over.  “Jimmy Fallon has more than four million,” she adds.  I know the President is on Twitter, though I doubt he takes the time to do it himself.  I mean, others really are  into it and would rather tweet than eat.  That Ritz cracker does not do it for me.

Corporations use Twitter to get out their shorthand messaging, the fast food of thought.  Twitter is taking over, feeding the masses with their rapidly shrinking attention spans.  This sad fact certainly makes me wonder what is next.

I think Twitter is stupid.  I have not seen a tweet worth reading, popping out of anyone worth following.  I think tweets, including my own, are a waste of time.

24 Responses to Tweet This

  1. James Nielsen February 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    I am computer age challenged but I use twitter as a switchboard to the world

    • Richard February 13, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      I don’t even know what means.


  2. MB February 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    Twitter has about a quarter billion active users. Maybe your 370 aren’t tweeting about things that interest you.

    You just haven’t found your Twitter-niche.

    • Richard M. Cohen February 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

      I confess I am not looking very hard.


  3. Jeff February 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    Richard – you are correct, it is a waste of time. But then again, how many things that we do on a daily basis are truly valuable use of our time? Twitter is a good way to “get the word out” in a quick and casual way (and BTW, I am one of your 370). It is also full of a good deal of useless crap. As mostly a consumer of Twitter, I appreciate the fact that I can easily stay informed on the latest and greatest topics that interest me, and (unlike Facebook), I can simply unsubscribe when someone posts an inordinate amount of garbage – without worrying about the sociological impacts of “unfriending”.

    Just know that many of us appreciate your posts – sure not all of them strike home with all of us, but as we continue to battle this beast, it is good to stay informed and feel some sense of solidarity.

    • Richard February 13, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

      You bet. Now go read a good book.


  4. Terri Weiss February 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    #Tried Twitter. Still a fail. Don’t get it. One of the 370. Snow sucks. #

    : /

    : )

    • Kate Aquilino February 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      Richard, i’m with you. Maybe it’s the old dog/new trick thing. I’ve been on FB for a couple of months. Took me most of that time to figure out even a little what was going on. Now I’m bored. My enablers agree Twitter is not for me. I laughed out loud with your ‘I don’t even understand.’

      • Richard February 14, 2014 at 5:51 am #

        And I don’t.


  5. Kate Aquilino February 13, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    Sorry. Misquoted you. ‘i don’t even know what means.’

  6. Mark February 14, 2014 at 5:55 am #

    I tried Facebook once. I was immediately deluged by messages from people I wanted to avoid! I pulled the plug on it quickly. I guess I am entering my cave…..

    • Richard February 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

      Good choice. Safe place.


  7. Kyle February 14, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    I don’t get Twitter either. It may be me, but I’m just not all that interested in anyone else’s stream of consciousness, capped at 140 characters or otherwise.

    Kyle (54 year old early adopter of all other things technological)

    • Richard February 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      We should spark an anti-twitter cultural counter insurgency. Our army would be mighty small.


      • Kyle February 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

        Might, if small! Would it be hypocritical if we took to Twitter to advocate our insurgency?


    • jill February 14, 2014 at 6:17 pm #


      • Richard February 14, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

        Yes. Twitter and revolution are a contradiction in terms. Strike it from the record.


  8. Amy Corcoran-Hunt February 14, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Twitter is a useful breaking news platform. That’s it.

  9. jill February 14, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    I’m with you 100%on this one. I’m same age as you, fighting the same MS battle for 37 yrs, but won’t let it get me down

    • Richard February 14, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      Right on.


  10. Laurie February 16, 2014 at 1:02 am #

    Richard- Twitter allows me to keep in contact with my nephews. Sad but true.

    • Richard February 16, 2014 at 7:22 am #

      That at least is useful. The rest seems pointless.

  11. Lacey February 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    I agree, Twitter is for twits.

  12. Cindy February 18, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    I don’t like Twitter. At all. Too afraid I’ll end up tweeting something completely incomprehensible to 1 million people! Like the reporter in South Africa. No thanks, I’ll stick with Facebook, email and Yahoo messenger! Not to mention I know very few people who actually use it…well my niece does but that’s what 18 year olds do.