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.