Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Up The Twitter

At six twenty pm I go on to twitter.com, because apparently it's what all the cool people are doing.

I don't know what I'm supposed to do there.

Apparently you type into a box what you're doing right now, and then you can see what everyone else is doing right now. I type something suitably pretentious into a box, and then I look at what everyone else is doing.

Everyone else is mainly cooking dinner and listening to Hot Chip on their iPods. I fight the temptation to type into a box 'Hot Chip are, like, *so* 2005! You should be listening to Lindstrom*, dweebs!', because a) I am not fifteen, and b) these people were on twitter.com before me, ergo they are cooler than me, even if they are listening to Hot Chip on their iPods.

I type into the void a bit more.

Nothing happens.

A bloke called Mathew is wondering what's so good about twitter.com.

So am I.

I reckon everyone else is just pretending to know what's so cool about it, while they cook dinner and listen to Hot Chip on their iPods.

Mathew wonders if it's because he doesn't have any friends.

I almost offer to be his friend. Then I think that might be a terrible breach of Twitter etiquette ('twitiquette'), and some of the people on there have been there since, ooh, last week at least! They might gather round me and Mathew in a circle and laugh, and taunt, and chant 'you love him, you love him'.

'Twitter is more fun with friends!' says the blurb. Going by the available evidence, I consider that this statement may have merit.

I email James to see if he wants to go on it, luring him with the promise of a site that's so inconsequentially solipsistic it makes blogging look like War and Peace and the Red Cross rolled into one.

Strangely this doesn't work.

In a last ditch attempt to get to grips with it, I inform the Twitter crowd that I am 'moping'.

Nothing happens.

I go and cook the dinner, without listening to Hot Chip on my iPod.

It is now eight sixteen pm. In Twitter time ('twime'), about seven years have passed. Mathew probably now has thirty-eight thousand friends and a column in the Guardian.

'This typing what you're doing into a box malarky, it'll never catch on', I think to myself.

I sit down at my laptop and fire up Blogger.


* Or is it Prins Thomas? I can't keep up.

18 comments:

Valerie said...

Isn't the basic answer to this question ALWAYS "typing into a box on Twitter"?

Doesn't this become infinitely recursive at some point?

Anonymous said...

"Twitiquette". I think that tells us all we need to know.

I've taken a look at Twitter, thought "more than usually pointless", and stopped looking. I'm not an early adopter. I'm really very happy for those that are to do all the work, and by the time I can't avoid it any more, I'm pretty confident that it's proved its importance/usefulness/funness.

Which is of course why I'll never be one of the cool people.

patroclus said...

I just made up 'twitiquette', although it probably exists, or will exist.

Scroob (and Valerie), knitting will always be infinitely cooler than typing 'typing into a box on Twitter' into a box on Twitter.

Urban Chick said...

*snorts with laughter*

i went on twitter the other night (after reading about it on a blog) and found it equally nothingy

("i am ecited about school tomorrow!" [sic], "adam didn't come to the cinema with me" boo hoo etc.)

*rolls eyes*

patroclus said...

Ahhh, UC, there's just something about the phrase 'rolls eyes' between asterisks that cracks me up every time.

In fact...hang on...

I found twitter *so* nothingy it was genuinely frightening. This is what it's come down to? Two billion (that might be wrong) years of civilisation, and we've learned to type 'Mia got my twitter and came to the pub, yay!' into a box?

belladona said...

Heh.
I knitted some things once. They were all oddly shaped, so I stopped. It's surely not that important to keep refering to the pattern?

the whales said...

Only two billion years of civilisation? I hadn't noticed as much. But then...i'm a school teacher now...and i don't notice much civilisation - either amongst children, or their parents, or adults who don't have children...nor anyone else frankly...

I clearly need a break from school...too many people yelling in my ear all day. Maybe i also need a break from it virtually

ps - Patroclus - do as Mangonel says, go back to Instance/Fingerpost - it's a bloody good read

violetforthemoment said...

I had a look and it's quite disturbing. Such a kind of non-existence seems possible if you get into it, just sitting and looking and refreshing and looking and refreshing... No-one there knows how I can get the taste of Jameson's out of my mouth since the Aquafresh hasn't done the trick. This internet lark is clealry overrated.

patroclus said...

Bella: Patterns are for wimps. Go with your inner creative urge, I say. Mind you, the last thing I knitted was a yellow doll's blanket in 1979, so I may not be an absolute authority on the subject.

Whales: I get confused easily when large numbers are involved. Also: aren't you on holiday yet? I thought the only upside to being a teacher (apart from all the, y'know, seeing the kids learning and growing and all that) was the long holidays? I'd like to try reading the finger thing again, but I'm stuck what with not having read the Baroque Cycle, and with being surgically attached to my laptop and all its attendant distractions. Maybe I will have a go on my forthcoming Cornish Holiday.

Violet: I have to say, it does become quite addictive, forever refreshing to see who's come out with the most inconsequential bêtise. I predict that by this time next week, I will be permanently slumped in front of twitter, mouse poised constantly over the 'refresh' button (why aren't they using Ajax, for the love of god? Do I have to do *all* the work? Honestly!), endlessly scrolling through the tiny minutiae of other people's lives in mind-splintering real-time. If this is the new television, be very afraid.

Oops, got a bit carried away there. Did you fix the Jameson's problem in the end? Listerine?

Tim Footman said...

"First job a cot death. Not a good start to the day. Have managed to have a fried breakfast though."

This site, I suspect, will be morbidly fascinating for a brief while, then people will shake their heads as if from a trance, and feel slightly embarrassed about their enthusiasm for the whole thing. Like the SDP. And Tamagotchis.

patroclus said...

And blogging.

That's the Random Acts of Reality guy, incidentally. I've only read his blog once, and it made me cry straightaway, so I haven't been back. Awful things there.

What amazed me more than anything about Twitter is the number of people on there that I actually know, from their blogs, or from events I've been to, or from random social activities around London Town. Small, small, small world.

Anonymous said...

There might have been a thin line between offering to become Mathew's friend and grooming. Although he was probably a middle-aged Telegraph journalist researching another Twitter article.

LC said...

Hehe - I just checked the site out and the first notice I saw was from Spinsterlla:

"Wondering if it's dangerous/wrong to give blood if you were pissed the night before less than 20 seconds ago from web"

Spinsterella said...

I joined.

I typed something but I ran out of characters so I had to do it in two posts.

Is that it? It's very weird. It's like one of thoses message boards or forums except no-one's actually talking to each other.

patroclus said...

I 'added' you, Spin, and now I come up as your 'follower'. I'm not stalking you, honest. Or grooming you. I can barely groom myself.

Spinsterella said...

I have a follower!

Maybe Twitter's not so bad after all.

Valerie said...

I joined, too, just so I could see what the heck was going on. But I don't think I'll be back soon; I'm with Scroobi, I'm a late adopter. The last time I was an early adopter I was 17, it was 1982, and I was making a scene on Usenet...

violetforthemoment said...

the jameson's problem has gone away now. in case anyone was worried.

Note to self - Do Not Internet When Under The Influence