Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Little Birdie Told Me So

At long last, I am sitting down to cover my experience with Twitter.  Shouldn't take long.  I don't really get it at all.  There it is in a nutshell.  Wow, how many characters was that?  Maybe I'm catching on after all!

To be perfectly honest, I created my account during the health care debate because a couple of my like-minded friends told me the White House had a Twitter account, so I signed up to follow them.  However, I stay because of David Cook - again, just to be honest.  He's a consistent Tweeter (Twitterer?), and he's simply adorable (just keeping it honest remember).  Maybe because he writes lyrics for a living, he can say clever things in 140 characters or less.  Little snippets about a dog grabbing his food off a table, or life on the road, or his favorite TV shows for example.  Just makes me want to hug him!  (Oh yeah, I sort of wanted to do that already.)

Me?  I can barely say Good Morning to people in 140 characters.  Concise and to-the-point are not what spring to mind to my inner circle when describing me.  Nonetheless, since I have this thing called a Twitter account, I feel obligated to occasionally say things on it.  I find it easier to make flippant, casual comments about football and hockey, so that's mostly what I Tweet about.  During the off seasons, I don't comment as often.  How do I cover the other topics in my life:  grief, loss, worry, ill-advised moves across country in two little lines?  Obviously I have no real idea, so I blog instead.

The People I Follow on Twitter:

In addition to the lovable Mr. Cook, I follow a group of left leaning politicians, including President Obama, Steeler-related personnel including some players, Coach Tomlin and some general fans/bloggers, some hockey fans, a handful of Rush fans and several of my friends.  For the most part, the Tweets I read on a daily basis make me smile or grant me some snippet of information.  For example, I learned the release date for the two Rush singles from a man who blogs about the band.  I actually get a lot of good information from him.  But, the flip side is a blogger about the Steelers who sent me into a near panic a week or so back when he posted (Tweeted, whatever) that Rashard Mendenhall had broken his arm.  I couldn't collaborate what he had written, but I wasn't sure it wasn't true either, so I spent an anxious couple of days until I saw Rashard start in the next pre-season game.  Seemingly, truth and accuracy are optional when limited to 140 characters.

The People Who Follow Me on Twitter:

For the most part, the people who follow me are the same kind of people I follow.  What happened, however, when I wrote the guest blog last week is that several new individuals began to follow me.  I found that mildly intimidating.  As I explained to my husband, now I feel like I should be saying something profound when, I say to him as I air text, all I can think to say is, "I hope the Steelers start Charlie Batch."  And, true to my own fears about myself, that's pretty much what my last couple of Tweets have been about.  So sue me, I'm upset about this whole quarterback situation!

What do people use Twitter for?  
Seriously, someone tell me.  The people I follow on Twitter who also blog seem to have learned how to link to their blogs, so it's a neat little announcement tool.  Problem for me is:  how do they do that exactly?  The links don't look the same as just a regular link - they're like, well, tiny.  If I could figure that out, it would be cool for me too, but I've got a total audience of less than 50, so it's not like I would move heaven and earth that way.  I didn't know anything about "Retweeting" for a long time, but once I got it, I confess it's also a nifty way to propel a message to a large audience.  So, I guess I do get it a bit.  What I worry over is that it's a great way for an ego maniac to be more egocentric than he or she might have been otherwise, because, for the most part, it seems to be all about what you're doing and thinking at the moment.  To prove my theory, I peeked in on one of the most egotistical characters I know of to see what he was Tweeting.  I give you Chad Ochocinco, "Why am i training to slow music? Could this be the reason im so smooth while playing any sport? Unbelievably coordinated in all i do hmmmm"  Groan.

In brief, this is a phenomena I'm standing just outside of looking in.  And, I think to myself as I try and sort it all out and learn to use it as the tool I imagine it was supposed to be, "Man, I'm getting old.  I can't keep up with all this stuff anymore."  But, at least I'm making an honest effort.  Where I really feel left behind is when my younger friends start rattling off stuff I've never even heard of, like Tumbler.  What in the world is that?!  It's times like that when I realize the world we live in now is so massively connected and moving so quickly, it's harder not to be left behind on the Information Superhighway than it is to stay in the race. And, man, I think I need to stop for gas!

1 comment:

  1. Twitter for me is just an extension for social media. I use it to communicate with other bloggers and I do, infact, have my blog posts sent out via twitter automatically. All you need is Feedburner. I can help you with that if you want. I have it set up to include a tiny url plus the title post, but you can have it say just about anything (140 characters or less, of course). I have a ton of followers, but really there are only a handful of tweeters that respond to me and vice versa.