I have a confession: I don’t like Twitter. I could pretend to be all moral and political about it. People much brighter than I have argued that it’s addictive, it’s ruining our attention spans, and it may even be to blame for the ever-more frequent Congressional impasses. In fact, if you google “twitter is ruining society” you get over a million hits. “Twitter is ruining the world” gets over five million. So it must be true.
But I’m going to be honest here. I don’t like Twitter because I don’t get it, and that makes me feel old.
There are many ways in which society conspires to make me feel not quite so young as I used to be. Unless the magazine stand is showcasing Britney Spears or Kate Middleton, I probably don’t know who the people are on the cover. If for some reason I were to listen to something in the car other than Music Together or Pimsleur’s French 2, there is zero chance I would know any of the songs. Unless I were listening to the Oldies station. Because the Oldies station now plays songs from the 90s. I only know the acronyms that have become so general usage as to make it into everyday conversation. So basically if it’s not OMG or TTYL I have to google it. Recently someone commented “SMH” on a Facebook post promoting an article I had written, which I initially thought was “so much hate” but, after googling, turns out to be “scratching my head.” I guess that’s moderately better.
Yet nothing is quite so in-your-face that I am totally clueless in the ways of modern society as Twitter. The hashtags! My inability to read words that don’t have spaces between them! The “at” signs! The character limits! (Not that I think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I can write short sentences. Even one word sentences. See? Ha! Ooh, two in a row!) The very fact that people find it addictive makes me feel clueless because – why? I just have never seen the appeal.
In fairness, that may be because I’m never actually on Twitter. Perhaps if I were to spend some time following people and then taking the time to read what they had written I would understand more. But should I do that? I feel like I get enough – too much! – from Facebook and blog posts and the 6,456,296 other ways to get information these days. And the absolute last thing I need is another way to waste time when I should be concentrating on something meaningful. Not that Twitter is necessarily devoid of meaning. Apparently it stoked a revolution and all that. But I’m pretty sure that the users I would be following would not be doing any stoking. And if they were I would probably unfollow them. If I could figure out how to do that.
But it seems that if I want more people to see what I’m writing then Twitter needs to become part of my life. And after spending more time reading the blogs of writers whose work I admire, I am becoming interested in seeing what they have to (briefly) say.
So with a ringing endorsement like that, who wouldn’t want to follow me! You can now find and follow me on Twitter. #godhelpme