Who put the Twit in Twitter?

3 Jan

On my, January 3rd already! Where has the year gone?

I am warning you up front, this is going to be a pretty random blog. I am taking a vacation day to extend the New Year holiday weekend.  It is cold and sunny outside and I just feel like typing, so here goes…

I just realized the web-based access to my work email won’t let me in. “Access Denied.”  Huh. Is there a message in this? Does this mean my access badge won’t let me in the door tomorrow? Have they changed the lock on my office door?

If life were a situation comedy, I would instantly jump to the crazy conclusion that I have, for some reason, been fired, which would lead to some zany, ill-informed decision to go to my office, dressed in wacky attire (maybe a robe and slippers), and then do things like pour coffee on the floor and make insulting remarks to people who out rank me.

Fortunately life is not a situation comedy.  (In my opinion, life isn’t even a reality show, or reality shows aren’t life, or something…)  Frankly, it is much too cold out (38 degrees! Yes, that’s Fahrenheit! Americans are far too lazy to learn the metric system, and I am no exception!) for me to leave the house. Plus, the van is in the shop, so I’d have to take the bus or ride my bike (in 38 degree weather?!) and that’s not going to happen.

So, instead, I just posted something about it on Facebook.  I see my boss hasn’t “unfriended” me yet, so that might be a good sign.

Over the weekend, I got into my first Twitter fight. I started it. I’m not proud of it, but there you are. It was a political argument. Frankly, I don’t think the internet has done much to improve the quality of discourse in the world, especially when it comes to politics. It is just too easy to lash out.  I could have just read these Tweets and gone on my merry way, but NO, I just had to put in my two cents. Then the other person Tweeted back. So I had to respond. Then the other person responded…And so it went.

Also, this other person is a relative of mine.

My mother’s entire family is from Jacksonville. She was one of 7 children, so I grew up with a lot of aunts, uncles and cousins all over the city.  All of my Jacksonville based relatives that actually liked me passed away some years ago.  The remaining tier of family members are, at best, indifferent to my existence. We live in the same city but we don’t really communicate.

I know, communication is a two way street. But when there is communication, I am always the one to initiate it.  Then there is much discussion about how I’ve been such a stranger and we must stay in touch! Then I never hear from anyone again. Unless I call.  And when I call, no one asks anything about me. I just hear about what’s going on with them. I could be living under a bridge for all these people know. I could be dying of a rare disease. No one asks. And they never ask how my significant other is doing. They never mention him at all.

So, I pretty much stopped calling. Really, I’m not mad at anyone. People drift apart and that’s life.

Then I started following one of my relatives on Twitter. Which lead to me putting the Twit in Twitter by starting a Twitter fight. The fight ended when the other person stopped responding to my Tweets. I was relieved, since I clearly lack the restraint to step away from the keyboard. I guess I needed someone else to end the Twittiness for me.

Of course, this also means I got in the last word.  (Winning!) Or perhaps this person resumed their hard won state of indifference toward me.

But I still got in the last word. Just saying…

So, what have we learned from this? First of all, Twitter is an impossible forum for having an argument. 140 characters is not a lot. That must be why some people don’t bother to punctuate on Twitter, thereby  making their rantings all the more incoherent.  In the future, when I want to lash out inappropriately,  I will just send a snarky email.

Also, there is no point arguing about politics with anyone.  When you feel the temptation, ask yourself, “could this person change my mind?” If the answer is “No” then you aren’t going to change the other person’s mind either, so don’t waste your time arguing. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, no matter how stupid and ill informed it might be.  I mean that in a nice way.

Furthermore, my inner Freud tells me I wasn’t just picking a political fight, I was actually trying to communicate something deeper. Like, “Indifferent, this!”

Could be. But then Freud also said, “sometimes a Tweet is just a Tweet.”

Less than 140 characters–I like that!

6 Responses to “Who put the Twit in Twitter?”

  1. gohp January 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    hi,bill–it’s gordon in CO

    These relatives of yours seem just like mine.I have no desire to “tweet”

    It is so tedious.

    • catzenspace January 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      I thought I had no desire to Tweet either. Then I started…and now I’m one of the twits who Twitters!

  2. Fred Lehman January 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    First of all if I were you I would not assume that because I got in the last word I’ve one the argument. I have found that thinking you have won the argument leaves you unprepared when someone else come around to finish the argument with you for the first person.
    Not pretty.
    Second: are you insinuating that I’m not American because I can use both ASM (American Standard Measurment(s)) and metric, because if you are …. pttttt. LOL

    • catzenspace January 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

      I am certain I didn’t win the argument. This person will never agree with me. I am throwing in the towel on that one! As for that measurement stuff, you’re smarter than the average bear, Fred! But you are most certainly an American!

  3. Mike January 3, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    Well put! A hundred and forty characters isn’t even a warm up much less a complete discussion and even MUCH less an argument. You’re right, the ‘net hasn’t done much to improve our communication, simply make it faster to write: “take THAT!” 🙂

  4. Pamela N Red January 4, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    The limitations on Twitter is part of why I haven’t done much with my account up until now. It seems to be a place to be heard in brief and those fluent in text speak *cough* young people, do much better than old folks like me.

    We all have weird relatives and like the saying goes we can pick our friends but we can’t pick our relatives. Unfortunately.

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