By: Grainne Rhuad
I admit it. When initially I heard about the new social network called Twitter I threw all kinds of insults at users. I questioned their intelligence. I questioned the downfall of society. Who could think that a one hundred forty character update of your daily program could be interesting either to read or write about? Who the fuck cares? That’s what I thought.
So of course I had to go and check it out.
Much to my chagrin I found myself stuck there. Like a ladybug stuck in the pretty shiny web of a massive spider. I found I couldn’t just come and leave. It was entirely too enticing. I was captured.
One of the things I loved about Yahoo 360 was the blasts you could put at the top. They were a little snapshot of what you were thinking. Things like quotes and songs stuck in your head, a brief snippet of little things you had learned. It set the tone for the day.
Twitter turned out to be all these things and more.
At first I found it ridiculous that someone might think I was slightly interested in knowing that they couldn’t find their favorite tofu at Whole Foods and were having to substitute with a less satisfactory tofu. Or that their brother was a douche bag for refusing to pick them up so they were riding the L-train. But then I found Rainne Wilson, and my outlook changed. Rainne rocked my world. Okay, he is a comedic actor and therefore it probably comes easier to him to write witty things at the stroke of a key. But I found him cracking me up with questions and statements like. “I feel so powerful and popular now that I get special treatment at Starbucks.” And his announcement that he plans to get a tattoo of Tattoo from Fantasy Island somewhere on his person. Where? I needed to know! I also found several other equally interesting people whose one hundred forty letter comments could make me crack –up. So I began trying my hand at the one hundred and forty symbol comments.
All of a sudden I found that there is in fact a use for the cell phone. It should probably be noted that I have had the same flip cell phone for 10 years. I never use it. I hate talking on the phone and to text takes entirely too much time. However with my new Twitter infatuation I can see where a full keyboard would come in handy. Anywhere, anytime I could rattle off the insane ramblings that come to mind and broadcast it to the world. This is a major techi-step for me!
Now there is danger in all this. What I think is impressive and funny could in fact be dull and maybe even stupid. Also I am pretty sure I could offend people easily by typing out quickly whatever is in my head. Like the time I called a song ‘Gay’ and got a smattering of P.C. education. I’m still pretty confused. I’m pretty sure Gay meant happy before the homosexual community started using it as a code word. Also why hold on to Gay if so many people use it in a perceived negative way?
This may seem beside the point, my issue with the word Gay, but it is exactly this type of communication that intrigues me about Twitter. The quick draw Mc Graw thoughts that come streaming through and spark thoughts when you least expect them.
There is of course the flip side, the dark underbelly to the whole Twitter experience. This type of quick communication will inevitably change the way people think and communicate. This may not be a good thing overall. Shortening our thoughts is going to contribute to a generation who doesn’t really know how to explain their standpoint. They will only know how to state what’s in their head at any given moment, and we all know that what is in a lot of heads does not make up a lot of substance. Also there is a great deal of room for misinterpretation.
But the biggest problem I see arising is people subjecting us to their whining and bitching in the expectation that somebody gives a damn. There does seem to be a lot of that on there. Statements like “The slag next to me in my office needs to learn about spanx.” Now that’s just mean. Surprising to me is how many people follow folks who make statements like this. They seem to feed off one another keeping bad feelings going which I’m sure transfers over into the work place and other areas of their lives.
Which is why I feel like I am providing a valuable service by Twittering. I can bring flash wit to the masses and hopefully lead by example, helping people be funny, creative and uplifting, all in fewer than one hundred and forty letters.
So for now, I am Twitter-pated
You can follow Grainne on Twitter @Twitter / grainnerhuad