Sunday, March 27, 2011


It seemed like a reasonable thing, to communicate a thought to the wider world that could be easily distributed to folks interested in what

Okay, let’s try that again . . .

If there was something important that I wanted to impart to the general public, I would have to choose the most effective medium, and given

Hmm, perhaps I should have given this a little more thought. It’s hard to get a cogent idea across to discerning readers in 140 characters o

Damn it.

Those of you who use Twitter must have learned how to get a point across more succinctly than I. Those 140 go by fast.

I suppose the most successful tweets (those are the Twitter messages) get rid of clutter. Like “I suppose” and parentheses. Totally useless.

Whew, barely made it on that one. Clearly punctuation must be the first thing to go.

In 2006 the madness started, and Twitter has continued to gain popularity worldwide. Witness 190 million users, generating 65 million tweets

a day (sorry about that, a little carryover from that 140 character limit). Fortunately tweets can start with a lower case letter.

As opposed to a properly crafted sentence. One with subject/verb agreement. And with a point. Tweets often lack a reason to exist.

That’s because “followers” (the folks who sign up to receive your tweets on their fancy cell phones and other mobile devices) want to hear

Hmm. Probably should have lost the quote marks on that last one. And the long parenthetical statement. It didn’t really add much to what I w

Followers want to hear everything you have to say. Breakfast cereal bowl contents, your stupid job, nothing is off limits.

Where you are. What you are doing. It was assumed that anyone who might follow you would want to know this stuff.

There was the famous Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN Twitter war in 2009, when we had the race to one million followers.

Ashton won.

Now Charlie Sheen (the first and last time you’ll see that fellow’s name in this column, and no, “tiger blood” comments don’t count) tweets.

As his life recently imploded he racked up a million followers in twenty-four hours. I assume because he had many interesting things to say

Which seems unlikely. A better use of Twitter would be the peaceful civil unrest in Egypt, for which Twitter has received some credit.

I don’t know if it is true or not, but it gives me some hope that we aren’t on a steep slope into a totally servile relationship with our te

Hiccup. Our technologies. Man, at 140 characters there just isn’t any time to establish anything of consequence.

You can’t write anything of great importance. “Run, the building is on fire!” doesn’t count. By the time you’ve tweeted you’re in flames.

In a glib, pretentious, and simulated world, Twitter stands out as a great advancement.

And most folks, including me, are at some point glib, pretentious, and simulated. The thing is: we get past it for the majority of our lives

Twitter doesn’t fit with the real world. It is an aberration. It is what you do on a crazy Vegas weekend.

You eventually come home and return to whatever counts as your normal life. What happens on Twitter, stays on Twitter.

or something like that

Most of us haven’t tweeted, and probably never will. I figure those who have eventually tire of it. I mean, come on . . .

Writing this column and keeping it to 140 characters or less for each thought-provoking point I’d like to make has been a huge pain in my as

Ran out of space there just before I got vulgar, eh?

If I am wrong, and Twitter continues to grow in membership and usage and popularity, I will sign up to send one and only one tweet:

long form of written communication dead - along with it, me - i cannot sit idly by and watch u all kill off worthy composition - long live b

1 comment:

  1. Twitter for a new form of electronic mirror for narcissists who feel that the rest of us need to not only look at them but listen to their brain farts as well.

    As far as the notion that news events like the situation in Egypt situation on Twitter was a worthy use of twitter- why? The situation in Egypt takes a lot more than 140 characters to accurately explain, and during the day I need to be paying attention to my job, not a newsbleep.