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.