Saturday, March 07, 2009

Tweets Are For Twits

The term “Twitter” is inescapable these days.

While watching the FOX News weekend morning program for the past year or so I noticed they have replaced the “seasoned” on-air journalists with young hipsters.

They constantly refer to “Twitter” and getting “tweets” on the air. At first I assumed that these were making reference to instant messages. These words are also showing up through various media outlets and on the internets.

I do not use instant messaging because a phone call works fine for me. Using a tiny keypad to compose a message is a waste of my time. Call me old school. Call me fat fingered. Call me a Luddite.

Some have told me it's a good way of communicating while you're in a meeting. What? Pay attention to the meeting, it's rude to send messages. I know, I have been in meetings where someone chuckles, I look and see they are typing a message. Made me want to shove that Blackberry up their a$$, sideways.

At one time I wanted to buy an iPhone, being an Apple Macolyte. I’ll take a pass for now. Spending time on the internets is fine during the dark months but now I am itching to be outside. Having to be hyper connected gets in the way of enjoying life and nature and free personal time. On fishing trips I’ll take a cell phone for emergencies but sending messages interferes with the task at hand, which is relaxing and getting away.

To me, Twitter is what little girls do when they become excited. It sounds “gossipy”. Are straight guys really into this thing?

I looked up Twitter. From their website:

“Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

Because even basic updates are meaningful to family members, friends, or colleagues—especially when they’re timely.
Eating soup? Research shows that moms want to know.
Running late to a meeting? Your co–workers might find that useful.
Partying? Your friends may want to join you.

With Twitter, you can stay hyper–connected to your friends and always know what they’re doing. Or, you can stop following them any time. You can even set quiet times on Twitter so you’re not interrupted.

Twitter puts you in control and becomes a modern antidote to information overload.

Get that? Twitter puts you in control and becomes a modern antidote to information overload. You gotta be crappin me. You can even set quiet times on Twitter so you’re not interrupted. How nice of them to offer this option.

Here’s how it works:

OK, I get it. "Because even basic updates are meaningful to family members, friends, or colleagues—especially when they’re timely." Want to know about the little things that happen in my life? None of your gotdam bidness.

Sorry, not gonna happen. Nope.

Add this to the many reasons causing me to consider moving out to the farm and becoming a recluse.

Years ago my company handed me a first generation Blackberry. I took it. Soon I found that it was a leash, a tool for them to intrude on my personal time. If I didn't check the Blackberry constantly it could cause me embarrassment at work. While leaving Manhattan for LaGuardia in a cab crossing the Tri Borough bridge I tossed that piece of sh!t out of the window and into the East river. Since the company was cutting budgets I couldn't get another. My superior excused me for not getting updates. I was free again.

Want to know "what I'm doing"? Send an email or call me on the mobile phone. I just might answer.


Chris from Colorado said...

As someone, who years ago, was interrupted due to carrying a pager and being on-call, at every possible moment of my non-work life for about 9 years, I'll take all the unconnectedness I can get. Even got a call at 2:00 am once from some idiot who had to tell me there were no problems at work.

Seems a lot of people are leading very boring lives. Not me.

Dan from Madison said...

Twitter is a bit bizarre to me, I really don't get it. I do enjoy facebook, it doesn't need the type of attention that twitter does, and honestly, if aunt edna is going to the mall, that is just something I don't need to know.

graphix said...

Thanks for the "twitter" explanation...I hear it EVERYWHERE!! On the instant message front, I'm a believer. It's a great way to communicate (when I must) with my ex. "Are you picking the kids up at 6?" Followed by a simple "yes" or "no" chance any unpleasant dialogue. It definitely has its uses ;-)

Mad Jack said...


Q: What are you doing?
A: Fondling women's underwear and sharpening my knife collection.

That a service like Twitter actually takes off and is used shows me how out of touch with reality I actually am. I want the old days.

When I got started in this lousy world our family had a single telephone with a rotary dial located in the kitchen. Two families shared the same telephone line – it was a party line. You picked the line up and listened to see if it was in use. If not, you could call out. If you heard voices, you were supposed to hang up and wait a while, but some people didn't. They listened. If the other people somehow knocked their phone off the hook, you couldn't use your phone until they found it and hung it back up, and then after a while the system would reset itself and you could get the dial tone and call out. Some of our neighbors left their phone off the hook during dinner, and the other party spent an enjoyable hour or so listening to dinner conversation. It was quite enlightening. Our phone number was four digits. That's right, four. No area code, no exchange. When the system finally upgraded to seven digits, my grandparents complained because their phone number had changed and they didn't like having to dial all those extra numbers. We didn't have the party line very long because my father was manager of a truck line and would get phone calls in the middle of the night. There were no answering machines as AT&T wouldn't allow them. Once when someone called my father with a business message I answered the phone and was able to write down the message. I was embarrassed because I couldn't spell some of the words very well, and apologized to the caller. I'm sure the man didn't mind helping me along with my spelling. He was probably glad that I was able to write things down. Well, I could print anyway. My uncle Bud, a swinging bachelor with a convertible, had a telephone in his car. This was a variant on the ship to shore radio system, so in order to call Bud you had to have some idea of where he was and he had to have the phone on.

US Mail cost three cents for a regular letter, and air mail letters were much more expensive. In order to write to anyone overseas, you had to use air mail. You would buy a special, very light weight air mail envelope and some paper, then you would disassemble the envelope and write on it in lieu of paper. You could finish your letter on a piece of air mail paper. The post office would weigh the envelop and quote you an astronomical cost to send it. Some people had pen pals as a sort of hobby, and would write to them once a month or so. I never had one, but then I didn't write very well. Getting US Mail is enjoyable. Someone took the time to compose a letter and send it to you. We were actually taught how to do this in school. Grammar, punctuation and format were important. Abbreviations were to be avoided.

I like being unavailable. I'm not alone in this. The telephone is an intrusion into my life, and one of the nicest things about my cell phone is being able to turn it off. Who ever needs me can leave me voice mail, and maybe I'll respond and maybe I won't. I had to carry a pager once for work. Never again. Unless I get paid to answer, that is. My brother does this and it works well for him. If he has to answer the phone at three in the morning, the clock starts with an automatic one hour charge. The company doesn't call him very often.

I will not use face book, twitter, instant messaging or the rest of it. I don't have a blog, although the idea is attractive to me. I'm a little afraid of what might happen if my somewhat controversial opinions were made public. Shoot the coyotes, for instance.

Gerry from Valpo said...

Mad Jack - I like the cut of your jib!