Twitter-Pated

By: Hugh
By: Hugh

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

13 Comments on “Twitter-Pated”

  1. Short-attention spans make Twitter pretty. I’m sure I would be addicted to Twitter if I had the time. Of course, most of the people I would insult or complain about are online and would probably be following me, so I’m sure it would cause some cyber-drama. And as Maya’s article suggests, there’s too much cyber drama out there.

  2. There is too much cyber drama, but maybe that’s because there’s too little human interaction. Maybe if we all left our offices, cubicles, homes and yards once in a while and engaged with each other in more settings we wouldn’t need this.

  3. I feel the same way about Twitter – I can’t see why it’s necessary, and I’ve almost killed my account twice – but I’m now using it to let people know about my blog posts, and consider it a valid part of my shameless self-promotion.

    As one who’s barely learned how to text, I can’t see myself sending Twitters (Tweets; I believe they’re called) by phone.

    Cyber drama?

    That dates from the days of chatrooms and other nonsense. We endured it during our stay at Y/360; it’s now a part of the landscape since everyone went to social-networking.

    The “delete” and “block” features were my best friend on Y/360, believe me!!!

  4. LOL, Great blog.

    I joined Twitter about a year ago before it became all the rage, just wasn’t that much to keep up with until the last few months and the media got their teeth into it. I had pretty much abandoned the whole idea re real interaction between peeps — I figure Jimmy Fallon has NO interest in the fact that I just finished doing the dishes and am on my way to the grocery store, sooo, I haven’t actually done any REAL tweeting myself.

    Recently a few of my other 360 friends have jumped on the T bandwagon, so I’m thinking of taking it up as a part-time occupation. If you want, post your T ID and I’ll add ya.

    -Cheeky

  5. I refuse to add one more addiction to my already burgeoning Internet time. Besides, my attention span becomes very short among short attention spans.

  6. Astra, shameless self promotion! LOL! That’s one of my goals there as well. Well, that and pretending William Shatner is my friend. Shatner cracks me up, he is the King of shameless self promotion there. All his twitterific friends are himself…except Fran Drescher, which is really confusing…But see, it makes my imagination run, which in the long run is good for all.

  7. I still haven’t tried twitter, and I got your invite Grainne. I just don’t wnat to be lured in. I easily succumb. I don’t want to kill any free time that I have. Because I will.

  8. Thus far I’ve avoided Twitter. Even though I do like Rainn Wilson, and you tempted me to look, I think I’m going to try to keep it that way.

    …eventually people will only use 1 word to keep in touch with each other. I call it “WORD” – spread it. 😛

  9. Great blog as usual, full of both info and humor. I tweet once in a while, but I mainly use it to read or click on some link to another article or video. You know me, I am spread so thin online, it seems that I never have the chance to get into anything very deeply. That might just be my excuse also. I recently got into a social forum all about Sleep Apnea. It’s a good place for me to learn and also to help others. I’m going to follow you on Twitter so I can hear your wise words there too.

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