I've started to tweet.
Or should that be Tweet, with a capital 'T'?
I've always been pretty resistant to technological advancements. I don't like change. I'd no more have a Blackberry or an i-pad in my house than I would have a student with a very heavy axe to grind. The very idea of Kindles instead of real books makes me vomit, and I pray for the day when Hollywood studios finally stop trying to make everything 3-D.
But Twitter is different. Either that or I'm a hypocrite. Either way, it is because of this very blog that I thought Twitter might be a good idea. I already post the link on Facebook, and I thought anything that might help give it further exposure must be considered A Good Thing.
I struggled at first. I'd set up an account a year ago, so I didn't have any trouble in that area. My problems started when I realised I had nothing to say, or 'Tweet' and nobody to really say or 'Tweet' it to. So I posted the link to my blog. And nothing happened. Well it wouldn't. That was mostly because; a) I had nobody to read it and b) I hadn't written http:// in front of it. I'd just typed the address, because I'm just that technologically retarded.
So I thought I had better get myself some people to follow. After a little advice from some friends I started to build up a list of people to follow. They're mostly sports people, sports teams, sports organistions and the like. Or fit birds. Joss Stone is a given, but I'm also following Sarah-Jane Mee and Georgie Thompson (though even the latter two are connected with sports). Karen Gillan from Doctor Who has so far eluded my clutches but I fear for her sake that this is a temporary state of affairs.
Of course the thought has occured to me that 'Tweeting' is a form of stalking. Why do I need to know that Joss is back in Devon for Christmas, or that Sarah-Jane was interviewing Duran Duran on Sunrise this morning? I don't, but the way I see it if they didn't want me to know all this they wouldn't have plastered it all over Twitter now would they? I have discovered that very little is private on Twitter, so if you are going to start Tweeting my advice to you would be to keep your innermost thoughts out of it. You could start a blog for that. Just don't tell anyone about it and don't, under any circumstances, post the link on Facebook if you don't want anyone to know that you got stuck on your driveway or fell out of your chair in your local park.
You can send people personal messages, but only if they are 'following' you. At this point the rules and conventions of 'following' and '@usernaming' get a little complex and I have to admit that I am still learning as I go. To date I have offered only 9 'Tweets' because I'm still not sure who is reading what and what it all means. If you send someone a direct messsage it means that only they and you can see it, whereas if you write @username before your 'Tweet' then whoever follows the person you are 'replying' to will be able to see it also. I think. One of my eight or so readers will correct me if I'm wrong I hope. Get it? No, me neither.
What I do know is that some people must spend an awful lot of time using Twitter, whether it be on their pc's or by mobile phone. There are certain users that I have inadvertently ended up 'following' who seem to post something new every few minutes. Disappointingly, it's often just a link to a story they have blatantly lifted from somewhere else. As if they are spending their day reading the news on the internet and passing on their findings to you. As helpful as this may or may not be, I can't shake the feeling that Twitter lacks a bit of creativity at times. I don't think it helps users that they are limited to 140 characters per 'Tweet', and so it is crucial to be succinct. The trouble is, if you're being succinct the chances are you are not being altogether insightful.
Where it does entertain is when some celebrity with too much time on his or her hands decides to impart their wisdom on us. Sir Ian Botham has been offering odds on who might score the most runs in England's first innings in the Third Ashes Test due to start in Perth tonight, while James Anderson and Stuart Broad are locked in a FIFA 11 tussle as they try to while away the hours before the start of the match, whereupon England will win the toss and bat and they'll be looking for ways to while away the hours. Broad is injured anyway and will not play, and I didn't need Twitter to find that out.
Elsewhere NFL superstar Larry Fitzgerald is telling me not to worry about failing, but instead to worry about not trying (as if I haven't got enough to worry about!) and Sunderland striker Darren Bent is 'rocking the Air yeezy Net today'. No, I don't know what that means either but you can't help but be strangely fascinated by the mad meanderings of a one-time England centre-forward.
Well, I can't. If any of this sounds like your sort of thing, or even if you are just a completely nosey bastard like myself, follow me @Stephen9021.