Twittering

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and my considered advice to you right now is, “Go back! While you still can!”), you have heard of the internet phenomenon of Twitter. Maybe you haven’t tried it yet, though, because you think it’s only for young hep cats.

Well, let me tell you right now: if you are still using the phrase “hep cats” you should thank God you’re breathing at all because what are you? Like 150?!?!

Anyway, Twitter is a program, a web site, a “state of being” you might say, where people go to share with people from all over the world about their hopes, their dreams and …

Just kidding. Most people on Twitter go on to either try and sell you something (that’s why I’m there!) or to complain about politics. I must apologize. Not everyone on Twitter goes there for those two things. Many people (as much 1 out of 2 or 40%) are there to write swear words.

You see, everything one posts “or tweets” on Twitter is limited to 140 characters. Without doing any research whatsoever, I can tell you that no one in the world knows why the starters—the “fabricators” one might say—of Twitter decided 140 was the maximum number of characters they were going to allow. It’s actually a boon to many of the people who tweet because the only words they know anyway are misspelled cuss words and they can actually squeeze quite a few of them into 140 characters.

“What can one do with only 140 characters?” you man ask. See, you’re thinking as someone from the real world—a world where your mom can leave a message on your answering machine that takes up the whole 90 minute tape without ever getting to the question she called to ask. Such a woman wouldn’t last ten minutes on Twitter, which is why a lot of young people have gone there.

In the early days of Twitter, way back in the glory days of the Bush administration when we were only involved in two wars and unemployment was at 4.8% and gas was $1.98 (but I digress), Twitter caught on as a way for young people to tell the world where they were eating, sleeping and, well, you know (playing foosball). A young man, we’ll call him Joe Twitter, would send out a tweet that said something like, “Gnoshing porq rinds at the Beanery!” and, within minutes, all of his “followers” (people who had signed up to read Jim’s [he changed his name] tweets) were making their way over to the Beanery to join Alex [he’s indecisive, like most millennials] in a frolicksome evening of of fried pork.

Then, Twitter caught on and soon people were trying to tweet—in the 140 character limit, of course—about more substantial things than fried foods and where they were sleeping for the evening. They began to discuss politics, art, sports and everything else. Some even credit Twitter with bringing down the corrupt regime in Egypt … but as we’ve since replaced it with an even more corrupt regime, well, let’s just pretend that didn’t happen, OK?

Now, millions of people are going on-line and “twittering” about every little thing that comes into their minds, providing the world with an ongoing stream of consciousness commentary on modern culture. Which, now that I think about it in those terms, leads me to think we’re probably on the verge of anarchy. I better go tweet that.