Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Tweet Smell of Success (or is that just the scent of boredom?)

I keep having a nagging feeling that I’m missing out by not being on Twitter. I hate missing out on anything—I used to cry when my friends played schoolyard games without me, and it used to kill me when my college roommates went back to campus the night before I did. It makes me laugh now—what did I think I was missing other than stomach-churning shots of Dubra vodka followed by house parties littered with Solo Cups and teeming with guys wearing those black Adidas slide-flops? But I digress.

The Twitter party has definitely started—and continued for some time—without me, so part of me feels there’s no point in starting now. Do I really have anything interesting to say that’s not already documented on this blog or in my frequent Facebook status updates? My gut says no (plus, I have to save some things for my future bestselling memoir). Also, reading Twitter pages is kind of like eavesdropping on one side of a conversation; people are always responding to other Twitterers using the @ symbol, and you have to click through to that person’s page to see what the first person was talking about. Still it’s hard, as a pop culture aficionado, to turn my back on such a phenomenon. I read about it all the time. I’m constantly aware of this universe that I am not a part of. And in the modern age (“the modern age”—ha! I should be wearing my nerd glasses) of Internet-centric existence, every opportunity missed to further overexpose myself seems tantamount to falling behind in some kind of race towards fame, even if it is of the fifteen minute variety.

I suppose in the end it doesn’t matter. Something new will come along one of these days, and Twitter will be relegated to an episode of Vh1’s “I Love 2008” (I actually watched “I Love 2005” this weekend, so we’re not too far off), and whatever that new thing is I’ll probably jump on the bandwagon to prove that I’m not an old fogey. Or, maybe—maybe!—I can get rich with my own Internet startup to compete with Twitter. Some ideas:

Blather: For the olds. Instead of writing 140 characters they can just go on and on about their days and what they think of that Eminem character and did you hear that Mrs. Putnam from the bookstore has terminal cancer?

Knitter: Crafty types create pieces made from 140 inches of yarn; post photos.

Quitter: Noncommittal Internet users create lengthy profiles, post once, and then abandon accounts forever.

Bitter: People jealous that they’ve missed the Twitter boat compose blog posts devoted to their regret, and end up deciding that they can do better. Oh, wait....

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