I think it’s great that in addition to being saved by the National Security Agency, your Twittering and tweeting will now be saved by the Library of Congress as well. I am the historian who wants a History of every single human being in our world, and Twitter is obviously a huge step on the path of recording the thoughts and actions of every individual in today’s world, and tomorrow’s world, and on and on into the future.
Yet if you wish me to be Twittering and tweeting — outside of an appropriate song — then you need to visit this blog a lot and tell all your friends to visit it a lot and buy my offerings and help make this blog a big success, so I can hire an assistant who will be in charge of tweeting to you. Because it’s just not going to happen if it depends on me.
In the first place, I can’t even use a cell phone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate them, I help pay for two of them for my wife and son, but the tiny little buttons just do not work for my big old fingers. Nor can my tired eyes read the tiny screen very well. And the lightness of them, that everyone else loves, is just for me just an invitation to juggle, jiggle and drop the damn things. And maybe my life has been too stable, yet I haven’t yet really needed one, or been able to get one to work when I have needed it.
Last year there was business errand where I had to meet some associates at a truly remote location (where we shared a booth at the big Oregon fair), my wife was so happy to set me up with her cell phone. Except she forgot to teach me, patiently, which of the inadequately labeled tiny buttons needed to be pushed to actually receive a call.
So there I am out in the middle of nowhere at the fair site, the phone rings and I’m sitting there pushing buttons without any good result, never did actually get the call. Five minutes later my associates show up, one of them understands how to retrieve the message, it was my wife just wondering how everything was going — in other words entirely un-productive and un-necessary anyway.
Not a great moment in the history of wireless communication, yet it sums up for me how much I want a cell phone. Not very much.
And the idea that my big fingers, and my brain that loves the English language, is going to murder that written language to send out bleeps of 140 lousy characters several times a day? One of my worst habits as a writer, is that I have need to immediately correct all my keyboarding errors, before I even get to the end of the sentence, and sometimes it does interfere with my train of thought. For me to look at texting dialect of written English and think I’m going to approve that as my writing, frankly it curdles something in my soul.
And the idea that I’m going to be able to read all your little tweets in murdered English and ever get anything else done, when I’m finally realizing what a distraction my addiction to computer-based news has become? It isn’t going to happen.
I won’t even get into the roots and associations of the word “twit,” the whole thing simply isn’t going to happen. As you’ll come to understand, I hope, I find a few hundred words as “just getting warm” if I’m trying to accurately describe the intricacies of a real human situation. 140 characters to express a thought of mine, that’s not the way to attract me to your media.
I don’t hate it, if it gives you something you can have it and love it, and I’ll be glad to serve you in that way if you demand it … just make me successful enough that I can hire somebody else to actually do it for you. It ain’t comin’ out of my big fingers on one of those little pieces of made-to-be-dropped plastic.