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Jeff Wilkin's Type A To Z
by Jeff Wilkin

Type A To Z

A Daily Gazette life blog
Features reporter Jeff Wilkin on pop culture
 

New Twit

By Jeff Wilkin
Friday, August 23, 2013

Well, electronic and social media is the golden ticket to success these days, so I have joined the tree house of tweeters on social site Twitter.

I’m not completely sold on the idea. I am satisfied with the social scene on Facebook, which lets me post bunches of pictures and allows me space to ramble about topics I consider noteworthy or important. To tell you the truth, I don’t really ramble all that much. But if you’re trying to spread the word, Facebook is the boss. We’ve learned about deaths in the family, social events at friends’ homes and even got great information about good realtors and other service professionals.

Twitter seems like Facebook Light. I guess you can post pictures — haven’t tried that yet — but you’re only limited to a few words of text. I can see where short statements can be handy and informative. I was at Saratoga Race Course recently, and could not believe how few people were around the joint. Had I been carrying my new iPhone IV with me, I would have tweeted, “Can not believe how few people are around the joint!” And people checking out the statement might have said, “Hey, small crowd at the track! Let’s go!” So I can see where “Twitter” can do some good.

If someone tweets, “Hey, The Godfather is on AMC, Sonny’s on the Causeway,” I might be inclined to tune in, see James Caan get riddled with bullets for like the 1,000th time and thank the twit for the tip. I’d also be interested in somebody posting “Traffic jam on the Northway, heading north, 30 minute wait,” if I was planning a trip in that direction.

But I don’t have to know the routine parts of everyone’s day. If a guy is drinking a cherry-flavored beer in a bar, if someone is going to jump in the pool or take a nap, if someone else is ordering the meat loaf special at the Glenville Queen — I don’t have to know these things. Bad enough I might be walking around like a zombie with head tilted to phone held in outstretched palm, soaking up all important updates on friends with french fries, shower curtains, pogo sticks and bowling balls. Death by boredom.

I think my biggest problem with Twitter is the terminology. Tweets and tweeting? Makes you sound like a baby bird opening his beak for the first time, and I have never been a fan of birds yakking it up in the morning.

I’d feel better about the whole scene if the names had a little more punch. If owls were the inspiration, Hooter could promote hoots of information. Let the restaurant complain — those waitresses in orange shorts and white shirts don’t have a monopoly on the good old English language.

Howler, Growler, Screamer, Yapper and Streaker are names I’d rather be using. Better to howl, growl, scream, bark or streak than tweet. Spectre would be better yet — I’m kind of on a 1960s James Bond movie kick during the weekends — but I’m not sure what you’d call the posts. I’d even settle for a crow-inspired network, so people could send “caws” back and forth.

I’m really hoping Twitter is just kind of a fad. “You mean, like color television, air conditioning and automatic transmissions?” asked one of the newspaper’s more sarcastic, 20-something reporters. Yeah, well listen to this, smart guy: One of my more critical college buddies once told me, “Only 14-year-old girls use Facebook. You shouldn’t be on it.” But I’ve heard 14-year-old girls and other teens are staying away from FB because their parents can see what they’re doing and thinking. They’ve moved onto other electronic platforms.

I’m hoping Twitter will eventually fade in popularity. No doubt something else will take over — I just hope it has a better name.

 

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