Everyone under the age of 160 seems to be doing it these days. There’s a new game in the social networking town and it’s sporting a catchy name to boot. Twitter.com is the new micro-blogging service that has everyone from Obama to Oprah to Yoko Ono tweeting until the cows come home. Let’s face it … Twitter is the new cool.
Personally, I think Twitter is so high on the cool factor scale that it has now become the Dorothy Hamill haircut of this century.
A few weeks ago, I registered on Twitter, completed a slightly exaggerated profile that made me sound like the most prolific and hilarious writer of this era, and then sat in front of my computer and for one hour straight, watched my mouse cursor blink rapidly inside the box titled, “What are you doing?”.
My husband sauntered in my home office and stood behind me. “What are you doing?” he asked innocently.
“I WISH I KNEW!” I yelled while shaking my computer screen.
“Holy cow,” he said quietly, “Tweety Bird needs to take a break. He smiled and added, “Hey, maybe you can go torture a Bad ‘Ol Putty Tat while you’re waiting for a cure for that terminal case of writer’s block you’re suffering from right now.”
“Very funny,” I muttered. “I have to think of something to say for 140 characters or less that is not only clever but meaningful.”
“Ooooh,” he whistled through his teeth, “140 characters, eh? That’s going to be hard for you.”
“I could talk about what I had for lunch,” I suggested.
“Now THAT’S newsworthy,” he laughed. Meanwhile, I was rapidly finding out that if I was going to keep tweeting about food, I was going to have to starting eating less of it.
“OH COME ON!” I yelled at the Twitter home page. “Who came up with this 140 character rule?”
My husband changed his tone of voice to the one I liken to a psychiatrist attempting to calm down a patient about to go over the edge. “Listen honey, how about if I go pour you a glass of wine and then we can just relax on the deck for a while?”
“I can’t leave this chair until I Tweet about something,” I replied. “Just give me five minutes alone and I’ll be right there.”
“Well okay then,” he said worriedly.
“I’ll be fine!” I said firmly as I shut the door behind him.
“I thought I saw a Baaaaaad ‘Ol Putty Cat out here,” I heard him joke outside the door before he walked away.
The cursor blinked at me in its annoyingly rhythmic way as I tapped my fingers on the desk. I knew I was putting entirely too much pressure on myself. I closed my eyes and began typing. When I finished, I had written exactly 139 characters. It certainly wasn’t prolific, profound, or even poetic, but it was just enough for a real Tweet. I clicked “update” and watched my “What are you doing?” answer enter cyberspace forever.
“And that’s all she wrote … literally,” I said as I stood up, yawned, stretched, and checked my watch. It had only been two hours since I sat down to write my first post on Twitter.
I sighed. All this twittering and tweeting seemed to be a really bad use of my time so far. But there was no question about it … I knew I had to keep creating twiterific tweets.
After all, all five of my followers are counting on me.