I’ve always been opposed to Twitter, not just because I don’t have a use for it, but because I feel like it’s almost the duty of the chronically unhip to relentlessly mock it. No, I don’t use Twitter. I also didn’t buy tickets to Sasqatch. Your fedora looks stupid.
Why do we need the ability to tell the world what we’re doing and thinking at all times? Man was not meant to have that sort of power, primarily because most of the things that we do in the course of our day aren’t particularly noteworthy or interesting. In seven days I can usually cobble enough experiences and poop jokes to make two blog updates, and that’s with no guarantees about quality. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, I have one worthwhile idea in an hour, and usually it’s just a lame pun that requires an extensive set up to make any sense.*
*So I’m starting an Elton John themed restaurant. You know what I’m calling my signature pasta dish? Penne and the Jets.
Twitter almost expects you to broadcast all of your thoughts to the entire world as soon as you have them. Speaking as someone who’s prone to snap judgments and hyperbolic statements, that would be an absolute disaster for me. Honestly, I think it would be a disaster for a lot of people to have the ability to post their every careless statement for the whole world to see without having the time to come home and mull over whether it’s a good idea or not.
Of course, it hasn’t started raining blood since Twitter launched, so maybe I’m just looking for a deeper philosophical reason to hate Twitter so I don’t look like the stubborn luddite that I actually am. After all, I said a lot of careless and stupid things in my weekly opinion column back when I worked at the Emerald. I guess you can stick your foot in your mouth through virtually any form of media – the key to not doing it, maybe, is to not make public statements ever.*
*Or carefully reason through everything you say before you say it, but seriously, who has the time for that?
I think the real clue to why I’ve been abstaining from Twitter is this blog itself: When I started writing about 400 words ago, I was intending to talk about how I’ve decided to go with the flow and get a Twitter account. Look how long it took me to get around to the main point of what I was going to say. 1892 characters, or 13 and a half Twitter posts. I’m not a man of few words, and outside of the strictest biological definition I’m not really much of a man, either.
Twitter is all over the journalism school – hashtags and @ signs and douched up advertising and PR majors strutting around talking about how they want to get social media internships so that they build a company’s web presence or some shit like that. A lot of these people have told me that I need a Twitter page.
“You need to get on Twitter, Truman.” They’ll say, with the same urgency as they would if I’d been shot in a gunfight during a casino heist gone wrong. “You need to get to a hospital, Truman.”
Much of their argument is that Twitter is invaluable as a networking tool for someone going into the entertainment industry – a means to get your name out there as much as possible, so that large numbers of people are familiar with you, your personality, and your body for work so that if they’re looking for the right man for a given job, they’ll know it’s you without even having to look.
Again, I tend to assume that the more people know of my personality, the less likely they are to want to spend more time around me in a personal or professional capacity, so I don’t really know how Twitter could help me there unless I created an elaborate alter ego whose Twitter posts were all about how much he loved getting up early, volunteering, and praying.
But yesterday I went to work creating a Twitter account,* both because I’m a slave to peer pressure and because someone who smelled simply terrible came into the checkout room and stank the whole place up in a way that I felt needed to be shared with the Internet.
*Again, that is – many of you may have started following my ‘@trumanc’ Twitter account that I started freshman year after hearing about Twitter for the first time in J201. I decided to start a new account - @trumancapps – because the sooner I registered my full name on there, the less likely some racist was to register for it instead and start posting about which minorities @trumancapps hated the most (he probably wouldn’t even get all the right ones).
But I got stalled early on when Twitter wanted me to pick the first ten people I would be following. The first was easy – Conan O’Brien – and after that Edward James Olmos seemed like a logical choice, but then I hesitated. Who else on Twitter did I want to receive constant, trivial updates from? Not really anyone, as it turned out.
Understand that I live in a house full of people who update me on their bowel movements and sexual escapades (or lack thereof) on a daily or hourly basis, whether I want to know or not (I usually don’t). Signing up for Twitter, I realized, would be like living in a small house with everyone I was following – sharing their deliberations on whether Brooklyn Decker is actually all that hot and hearing Family Guy seeping through thin walls at any time, day or night.
So I left off on the creation of my Twitter account after following my fourth celebrity, George Takei. By all means, follow me on Twitter at @trumancapps, but I can’t guarantee you’ll ever see anything there. If you want to know something stupid and pointless about what I’m thinking, either come to this blog or ask me in person. I’m sure I’ll be happy to tell you.
Truman Capps has clearly begun to chafe under his own self imposed deadline.