Few things would thrill friends, acquaintances, and strangers more than being privy
to the excruciating minutiae of my quotidian life: When I eat a piece of broiled,
skinless chicken; when I drink another seemingly bottomless glass of water; when I
listen to a piece of stirring music; when I have a bowel movement. They would most
assuredly experience a deep satisfaction in having access to the inner workings of
my mind and be endlessly intrigued by my thoughts, both profound and silly: "I am
having a great internal struggle regarding this relationship" or "Depeche Mode should
have retired following Alan Wilder's departure. Excuse me while I violently weep in
the corner now."
In a somewhat sane world, there would be crickets chirping around such commentary.
In other words, they would stand alone and neglected, devoid of an audience. Yet in
the world of Twitter, this is precisely the type of information that is ravenously
consumed on a daily basis.
Twitter is yet another free, social networking site wherein users offer brief, 140
character status reports--or "tweets"--regarding anything that strikes their fancy.
Verily, an uncomfortable fit for the more verbose among us. I suppose we should be
grateful that the agony ends at 140 characters and not 140,000.
Oh wait. That is what blogs are for.
Admittedly, I have never registered for a Twitter account despite a friend's passing
suggestion that I do so. However, unless you have been, as the cliché goes, "living
under a rock" since its inception in 2006 by creator Jack Dorsey, you have undoubtedly
heard and read about it as much as I have.
I have occasionally wondered why it has gained such popularity. It is estimated that
4-5 million people use Twitter, and it is reportedly the third most used social networking
site after Facebook and MySpace.
Are these random, seemingly irrelevant entries lonely cries in the wilderness, a burning
desire to be heeded and noticed? Are they the result of our ever-decreasing attention
spans? Are they products of our growing narcissism? Are we navel gazers so enamored
with ourselves that we believe others should be equally as enchanted? My own sporadic
musings on Facebook cause me to wonder if my four friends (impressive, eh?) are bored
senseless with my banter. On countless occasions I have pressed the delete key. How
many times do my friends want to know, at any given moment, that I am madly in love
with my beau? Are they thrown into fits of glee when I mention a song that I am particularly
fond of? Are they wringing their hands in distress if I post a sad smiley face? Should
my interest be piqued when I read that a friend is "chillaxin" at home with a bowl
of popcorn and a slew of bad films they just rented from Blockbuster?
Of course, you may limit your number of victims--err, followers--by choosing the appropriate
privacy options. Don't want coworkers or potential love interests discovering you
have a bad case of athlete's foot, but possess an urgent, undeniable longing to share
this tidbit of information? Limit your tweets to friends and family. Please.
Twitter has gained such notoriety that celebrities, politicians, and business owners
alike are using it as a marketing tool. From Britney Spears to President Obama, Twitter
fever has overtaken the globe. Of course, many of these well-known figures have other
parties writing on their behalf.
Add your pics, videos, blogs, groups, events - then Tweet them!
Twitter feeds and the Latest News about Twilight books and movies!
Shaquille O'Neal, himself a twitterer, personally updates his page, "The Real Shaq."
I could only laugh in agreement when he commented on the use of ghostwriters for tweets:
"It's 140 characters. It's so few characters. If you need a ghostwriter for that,
I feel sorry for you."
That would be a good tweet in and of itself, Mr. O'Neal.
If you are intrigued by the idea of registering for a Twitter account, a bit of knowledge
regarding Twitter lingo may be in order. As previously stated, the 140 character updates
are known as "tweets," and the users posting them are known as "twitterers." However,
did you know that twitterers may also be known as "tweeple," and that a meeting of
twitterers is a "tweetup?" Twitterers do not write novels, they write "twillers,"
and a phishing scam in Twitterland is "twishing."
There is a perverse tongue twister in there somewhere.
Despite the general mocking tone, I readily confess that I would be transfixed by
any tweets offered by my boyfriend. From minute details to grand thoughts, I find
him interminably fascinating. Nevertheless, I fail to grasp the keen interest held
by the masses when it comes to tweets posted by random strangers.
Does that make me a twit?