Sunday, July 13, 2014

What A Twit

Worst Tweets Ever has a whopping 3 followers

As I close in on a Twitter milestone, one thousand followers (hint, hint), I'm reminded by a youthful critic otherwise known as a "Cowardly Anon Nitwit" why the service rocks.

With only 140 characters to play with you have to be a tad concise.  Kind of like the telegraph of old where you paid by the word so you tended to use as few as possible.

Or the early days of the telephone when the thought of "long distance" charges struck fear into the hearts of your parents, so you learned to talk fast with far flung family members.

It also reminds me of Town Meeting where pretty much any local can get up in front of the body before a live microphone and say pretty much anything.

I always have that split second fear as I trudge to the podium that I'm going to suddenly have a  Tourette's moment and just start spouting "expletive deleted."

On Twitter you can get in trouble instantly for saying stupid things even if you only have a few followers, because all it takes is for one of them with a huge number of followers to retweet you.  While bad news has always moved quickly, stupid news moves at warp speed.

I have more than a few "college aged youth" who follow me just to see if I'm talking about them or their lifestyle.  They don't usually just randomly tweet at me like the nitwit "worst tweets ever" who obviously also has the account "larry kelleys whack."

Him I ignore, because if I respond to a stupid tweet that originally only went to his one follower, suddenly it goes to all almost-1,000 of my followers.  And since  a few them would like to dance on my grave, they would chime in supporting the initial idiot.

Last Spring was relatively quiet but there were a couple weekend nights where warm weather brought out the zombie party herds.  I remember tweeting a couple of low key incidents early in the evening -- APD making an arrest for "open container" on Fearing Street or AFD responding to the first ETOH (alcohol poisoning) incident of the night. 

A couple kids played off those tweets with sarcasm that was then favorited or retweeted by other like minded followers (none of them having much more than an average number of followers -- 200 or so).

But as the night wore on, and the number of ETOH incidents requiring ambulances became more and more numerous -- to the point where we ran out of ambulances -- the sarcastic tweets stopped.

So either it dawned on them that having all our ambulances tied up carting drunk students to CDH is not a good thing, or maybe some of them were the ones being carted to the hospital.

Of course the other tremendous Twitter thing is the ability to post photos instantly, conjuring up that old pre-Internet adage that still remains true:  a picture is worth 1,000 words.

And that's a lot of characters.

LarryWhack has zero followers


Tom McBride said...

I'll acknowledge I've never had even had a passing interest in tweets, even those from Larry Kelley. I really can't imagine that any person is so interesting that I want to hear their passing thoughts as the day goes by. I'll read blog entries, newspaper articles, editorials, maybe letters to the paper, but at the beginning, I can't imagine why some person in the cyber world believed tweeting would serve a purpose. At 53, I'm getting just a little older and showing I'm frequently closed minded about some of the things coming my way.

Larry Kelley said...

I try to tweet only fascinating stuff. Well, mostly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for offering up some of your passing thoughts as the day goes by, Tom.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you Tom McBride. I may be showing my age (62) but I just don't get the allure of Twitter. I'm pretty plugged in otherwise, reading most of my news online, reading several blogs, enjoying Facebook, etc. But I don't do Twitter at all and have no interest in it.

Anonymous said...

I rarely "tweet", but my twitter feed is full. That's because I use an app that converts my Google+ posts to tweets, tumblrs and posts to a Facebook Group I belong to. I have over 800 "followers" who seem to like what I have to say, so why not say it?

Walter Graff said...

Twitter is nothing more than a conversation medium. If you've got something to sell or something to push then you can use it as a tool to get limited results. If you are a spammer or a broadcaster then you aren't using Twitter to it's full advantage. A broadcaster simply posts random stuff with links to a blog with little interaction with people. A spammer simply uses Twitter to spam sales links and offers.

Outside of the limited use Twitter offers when used correctly, it's just another narcissistic tool of our times.

Anonymous said...

Gaffe you're the narcissistic tool.

Anonymous said...

Ur soft.

I'm surprised that one didn't go viral.