April 1, 2016

Hello, Twitter: @The_Quiet_Man22

The CRG reprinted this Sacramento Bee editorial regarding the impact of Twitter yesterday and the lede stuck with me all day:

There’s an old(ish) saying that Twitter is where strangers go to become friends and Facebook is where friends go to become strangers.

#Truth.

I have thought about getting a Twitter account for a while and, with the editorial lede on the front of my mind, finally decided to do it last night. My place on Twitter is @The_Quiet_Man22.

Why Twitter, especially since I neglect and overly restrict access to my Facebook profile? I don’t know for sure, but maybe it is because Twitter intrigues me and is something I have not tried yet. Plus, I got the impression that I was keeping myself in the dark since so much is happening on Twitter. Perhaps time will tell if that was a wise choice since Twitter can be a place of useless and hate-filled feuding and harassment, another place where, as Charles Barkley said about the Internet, fools go to feel important. But it is also a tool and one-stop-shop for the dissemination of news and information.

That’s the main reason why I joined Twitter — to stay better informed — but Twitter also seems to be a better tool to interact with like-minded people, a place where the human element and experience are emphasized, where the small, mundane, but important things in life are brought to attention and relished. It seems to serve as a ballot box between election days and a place for suggestion and criticism (albeit sometimes not constructive). It seems more than a repository for gratuitous vacation and baby pictures.

Or at least that is what it seems like for a beginner. Please excuse my naivety.

Will I tweet? Probably not much. I definitely won’t be broadcasting my every move, thought, and emotion to the world. I am, after all, a quiet man. But we will see. If nothing else, it will be a place to microblog and follow my friends and interests.

(Here’s something that intrigued and scared me. While signing up, the site provided a list of accounts I should consider following. Among them were Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump, which is scary and odd in its own way. But the list also included many of my friends and relatives. “How the hell does it know I know these people?” I wondered. At one point it showed me people who had me listed in their contacts. Really? How the hell did it get that information? Data mining? Needless to say, it was kind of creepy in that the-NSA-knows-and-sees-all way.)