To Tweet or Not to Tweet

I hate the sound of bagpipes. To me the sound of bagpipes is more torturous than the squeal of a feedbacky microphone, or the wail of a screaming baby, or the pounding and grinding of a dumpster being emptied in the middle of the night. It’s the top reason I’m not a fan of St. Patrick’s Day. I’m also not a fan of people going out and getting drunk obnoxiously when they could just as easily, no, more easily, stay home and drink in silence. So where have I been the past few days, you ask? I was waiting out St. Patrick’s Day in the Cone of Silence and now it’s the day after, and safe to come out.

Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 by Robert Matzen

My idea of hell.

I need to know. Do you people tweet? Do the cool kids these days tweet? It seems as if people must sit around watching TV with the remote in one hand and a phone in the other so they can report their thoughts in real time, and maybe if you’re a great pundit who has thoughts in real time that would be desirable, but if you’re just a guy or a girl and go reporting on how the ref made a non-call in a basketball game, is this a good thing?

My housemate has been railing for years that there’s too much communication in the world today, and the emergence of “Twitter wars” seems to bear this out. Someone disrespects someone else on Twitter, and suddenly a snarkfest is unleashed, often with no winner but just a lot of nasty messages hanging in the ozone. To me, Facebook is a fine thing and allows me to keep people at the far end of arm’s reach while still learning of their comings and goings. Facebook is perfect for the reclusive introvert, which I’m one of. I care about my friends, which doesn’t necessarily mean I want to talk to them all the time. Now I don’t have to: there’s Facebook.

But Twitter. Quite some time ago, Basil Rathbone authority Neve Rendell encouraged me to start tweeting. I thought, what the heck, why not, and I signed up on Twitter and got my handle (@robertmatzen) and guess what. I have only tweeted I believe one thing in my entire Twitter career, and that was a funny little something to a co-worker. I just couldn’t bring myself to tweet because who cares what I have to say? Why is my viewpoint important? Does the world need to know that I hate bagpipes? RT if U h8 bagpipes 2.* NO! I can’t murder the king’s English that way. I can’t go against the grain and reveal my loathing of an “instrument” played at heroes’ funerals!

I have seen an effective use for Twitter, and that’s to build a brand. If I were a comic attempting to build my brand, RT if U h8 bagpipes 2 would actually make sense. As a matter of fact, comedian Stephen Wright used to talk in tweets long before Twitter was born. But even if I were building a brand, I can’t see myself shamelessly self-promoting because reclusive introverts aren’t made that way. Ironically, I am building a brand and can’t make my thumbs use Twitter! You can see my conundrum.

Besides, with a subject matter like vintage Hollywood, my tweets would just be a litany of sadness.

Shirley Temple dead. Bummer.

Sid Caesar gone. Nooo!

Harold Ramis passed. Can’t B.

Robert Matzen, angel of death.

So please tell me, do you tweet? Are you on Twitter? Should I do this or not do this? I’d love a pro or a con from you, the most influential people in my life (other than she who lives with me). And most importantly, would you have RTed that U h8 bagpipes 2?

*RT = ReTweet

3 comments

  1. I don’t tweet and I am not on Twitter so I would say you don’t have to do it. 🙂 I’m happy about following you here. I find the sentence about there being too much communication interesting. Yes, on the one hand. But is this really communication? Communication is always two-sided. Communication today is mostly self-promotion without really caring for an answer. When I look at my students during a break at school, is appalling: they’re all sitting there, quielty, using their smartphones “communicating” with the world and not with their neighbour! Horrible! So… I’d stay off of all this. Some people have to remain reasonable, don’t they?

    1. That’s a good question you ask–is this really communication? Maybe it’s better classified as information. There’s too much information. Thanks for the advice on tweeting–I would indeed like to remain reasonable.

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