Why I Have Failed at Twitter.

4 02 2010

Curse you, Twitter bird. Curse you.

Last year, I jumped on the bandwagon.  I joined in the Twitter craze.  I was young.  Naive.  Full of optimism that this branch of social media would once again bear fruits of knowledge and connect me to a larger portion of the world.

Now, some months later, I hang my head in shame.

I have failed Twitter.  Utterly and completely failed it.

How did I fall so far, so fast?  It’s difficult to say, but I have a couple of ideas.

For one, I’m bombastic.  Loquacious.  And yes, a little pompous.  I like to hear myself talk (mostly) and certainly enjoy going back to read what I’ve written.  But with Twitter’s 140-character limit, I found myself constrained.  My thoughts require more than 140 characters, blast it!  Talk to the people who text me; they’ll tell you my responses, while inane, typically reach the breaking point of the 160 characters afforded to me by my wireless carrier!

With Twitter’s 140 character limit, my brilliant writings become dull, witless, monosyllabic piles of dreck that a man who has received the miracle of eyesight after 20 years of blindness would take one glance upon them and immediately wish to return to the darkness.

Another is the self-promotion.  My god, people.  To paraphrase one of the most eloquent speakers of our times, Terrell Owens, “They love them some them.”  Every time I would log on, there would advertisements thrown at me from all directions…”Buy from me!  Come to my party!  Look at this photo of take-out I got from Taco Bell!  Now look at my tweet about eating Taco Bell!”

Twitter-loyalists will pipe up now, defending this, saying that we are bombarded with advertisements every day of our lives.  True.  However, I do not have to scroll through all those advertisements in the hope that there may be something worthwhile amongst these proclamations of self-promotion.

I admit, I attempted these advertisements early in my Twitter life.  But once again my pomposity, love of verbiage, and adversity to internet shorthand limited what I could advertise.  And now my daily tweet deals with a contest wherein I re-tweet a phrase in hopes of winning money for a car.  I have become a shill.

Another reason I have gloriously failed?  My location and access to technology.  I live 20 minutes outside of Richmond, as well as owning a cell phone that lacks a camera or any other kind of recording device.  Therefore, the great events I hear about being promoted in the city, as well as the real-time events, have no bearing on me.  I would have gone sledding in Byrd Park, if my car had not been snowed in and I lived anywhere close to that area.  But I do not.  And the tweets I put up there about events happening in my area?  The Richmonders don’t care.  I’m the outsider looking in.  The homeless man on Christmas Eve, looking into the window of the home that contains a loving family, where a turkey is being carved amidst marital and familial bliss.  I desperately wish to join their world, but know I would be shunned for my lack of social graces.

As for the lack of technology, I can not send twit-pics.  I can not become the metaphorical mayor of some place.  Even if I did, the places I visit on a regular basis would elicit no response, positive or negative.  My tweet followers would look and see I became the mayor of Wawa, and the reaction would be a yawn, a shrug, and their thumbs moving to indicate they had become the mayor of some upscale, chic cafe on Cary Street.  I have no hope.

So yes, I have failed Twitter.  I have failed it gloriously.  Will I keep it?  Sure.  There may come a time when I will utilize it to its full advantage, and become renowned for my sharp, biting wit that is oh-so-brief.  But soon I will put it on hiatus, and perhaps work on whittling my creative thoughts down to an acceptable length.

But for now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shill for a car company.

-ZA





Tweet this, b****es!

19 10 2009

Carl and Sarah are walking through a forest.

Carl:…And then I thought my status update was hi-lar-ious, so I went ahead and liked it myself.  You know,  so people would see how clever I was.

Sarah: Yeah, I saw that.  Oh, did you see Lenny’s link to that video of that dude singing karaoke in his bedroom?

Carl: That was so great!  I’m going to do the same thing, except I’ll sing pop songs instead that Linkin Park shi…Ow!

Carl collapses to his knee, grabbing above his ankle.

Sarah: What is it?!

Carl: Something bit me!

Sarah: Let me take a look…oh yeah, it looks like a snake bit you.

Carl: What if it was poisonous?!

Sarah: Don’t worry, I’ll look up how to get the venom out.  Just give me a second…

Carl waits, sitting on the ground, clutching his ankle, grimacing in pain.  Sarah gets on her iPhone and quickly begins typing.  After 15 seconds, she’s still typing.  30, still typing.

Carl:…Well?!

Sarah: What?  Oh, my bad!  I wanted to let everyone know what had happened, so I logged onto Facebook real quick.

She looks at her phone while Carl slowly begins slumping down.

Sarah: Ooh, and people have already started to comment! Hehe, Jerry said that you’re finally one with nature.  That’s so funny.

Carl continues his descent into the dark void known as death.  Sarah is oblivious.

Sarah: Hey, I know!  Let me get a quick pic of the bite, so everyone can see!

Carl’s unresponsive, laying flat on the floor.  Sarah picks up his bitten leg, holding it up to take a photo with her iPhone.

Sarah: There we go.  Now just upload it to twitpic.  Let’s see, what’s a good tweet for this…Got it!  “Carl bit by snake…or angry forest nymphs?!”, asterisk, “conspiracy”.  Excellent…

Sarah looks down at Carl, who by now is dead.  Completely dead.  Gone.  Kaput.  Sarah gives the body a quick jab with her foot, then shrugs.  She starts walking, her focus on the screen of the iPhone.

Sarah: (Typing) Carl’s dead…F…M…L…(She continues walking)What, Lenny, you liked that?!…Oh, your comment is explaining that the “Like” is supposed be a “Dislike”, I get it!…

The screen fades to black as a voiceover begins.

Ressurection App?  Not yet...
VO: The iPhone 3.0.  We can’t bring your friend back to life, but you sure as hell can tweet about his untimely demise.
ZA