The husband joined Twitter. I coached him. It was like standing behind someone who is deathly afraid of water and pushing them into the deep end of a swimming pool. He did not go willingly or cheerfully, but he went.
Twitter, for those of you new to that game, a game that is now seven years old, is one of those social media networks that cause you to spend even more time cultivating bad posture by crooking your neck and hunching your shoulders while glued to your smart phone.
Several weeks ago, I was waiting for my luggage in baggage claim at the airport, standing behind a group of about seven men. It looked like each and every man had his hands folded and head bowed in prayer. I shot a picture and sent it to the kids saying, “America returns to God!” I thought it was funny. Sometimes I laugh alone.
Anyway, once you are on Twitter, you “tweet,” via computer or cell phone. A tweet is a message of no more than 140 characters; vowels are optional. A tweet can be earth shattering or mind numbing.
Kim Kardashian recently tweeted: “I’m wearing flats.” Her tweet also linked to a site that featured her more developed thoughts on wearing flats: “Here I am heading to NYC and it’s my first time ever wearing flats! I told you I was giving them a try.” This was accompanied by 49 pictures of her outfit.
Kim Kardashian has 17 million followers on Twitter.
The husband joined Twitter because he is a member of the media and it is pretty much a requirement these days for media members to have a presence on Twitter. That said, he has no interest in tweeting about his shoes. (For the record, they’re brown and could use polish.)
When you join Twitter, you choose groups and people to follow to see what mind-numbing and brilliant things they are tweeting. I suggested groups the husband might enjoy following and he responded with keen disinterest. I suggested several more and he responded with a low growl. When I explained that following certain people or groups on Twitter can be informative and educational, he finally relinquished and agreed to follow the #CincinnatiReds.
He was now on Twitter and following one group, not exactly what you’d call a large social network. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You also follow people on Twitter. Unfortunately, he couldn’t seem to think of anybody he was interested in following, even though hundreds and thousands of names of people, some of whom he even knew, were scrolling by.
“Not him, not him, not her, not him,” he said over and over, followed by more growling.
I suggested a well-respected reporter. “You’re not going to be getting fluffy tweets from this one,” I said confidently. “Mark my words, her tweets will be substantive and informative. Trust me, you’ll be glad you followed her.”
I stood behind him as he clicked to follow the intelligent and well-respected reporter. We both looked at the screen as she sent a tweet: “I have the hiccups.”
I immediately fled the room to avoid his withering “I-told-you-so” look.
By the way, I am wearing running shoes. Pictures to follow.