Am I a Tweeple, or Just a Twit?

10:42 PM

I make no excuses for my age, 52, and while there are aches and pains that develop when the human body ages, there is also a great wealth of wisdom one learns as our body clocks tick through middle age.

But there can be no disputing the fact that we Boomers are tasked with trying to keep up with the younger humans among us. While Generation X, Y and Whatever might have us beat on technology, we cream many of them when it comes to knowing those life skills that can only be mastered after several decades of making mistakes.

As a graphic designer/web site developer, I feel quite confident about my computer skills, and I've been a Mac user since the first ones hit the streets. I cut my teeth on Pagemaker 1.0, and try these days to run fast enough on the continuously updating tech treadmill to feel pretty comfortable with my power user chops when it comes to designing in Indesign, photo work in Photoshop, or web work using Dreamweaver or Flash. Sure, the kids can code circles around me, but half of them end up sending their files to the printer as RGB images, not having connected the proper dots on high-end digital lithography techniques.

Like everyone else, I live (and die) on the Internet, that rapidly changing minefield of information we are all completely tethered to these days. And in that minefield, the one area that is literally exploding is social media, which is where my mind starts going a bit numb:

It's like this: I've been into social media since America Online 1.0 changed our lives. Back in that day, we'd sit impatiently listening to the ridiculous sound of two V.34 modems connecting, which resembled a couple of Muskrats intoxicated on Olde English 800 making passionate love. As an early AOL user, if you weren't careful, you'd end up chasing off Toxic Tanya when a simple chat in an AOL chatroom became Fatal Attraction.
Yes, those old chat room days were, um, interesting. Was that really Suzie in Omaha, or was "Suzie" really "Fred" sitting in his underwear in a single-wide in Boca Raton? Minefield.

Today, social media has blossomed into a complete monster, with everyone you know jumping into Facebook and Twitter, big time. I went the same route as everyone else, getting seriously comfortable with Facebook while thinking Twitter was just a fad. But then I bit the bullet and signed on as a Tweeple, or am I a Twit? Beats me...but I know I tweet, and once I Twat I Taw a Putty Tat. Jeez Louise:
Now with just about 800 "followers" on Twitter, I am beginning to get my legs with this new minefield of information that comes rushing at you so fast, it is hard for my 52-year-old brain to digest. I believe there is value in this service, and as a blogger and former journalist for over 30 years, I never miss a news breaking news story while on Twitter. Today, I learned that the House passed H.R. 915 – the FAA Reauthorization Bill – almost in real-time. The immediacy of Twitter is, as the kids say, sick.
I can see the usefulness of reading other people's "tweets" all day, but sadly, only about 70% of the "Tweeple" I follow actually tweet about something interesting, The other 30% just wastes keystrokes. Here are a few gems pulled verbatim off my Twitter "timeline" just now:
• Twitter is the devil. It lulls u into a sense of trust & u tell the world stuff that shouldn't be told.

• Am already so friggin full - salad wine ribs steak wine wine

• Putting food in my stomach first. Then a beer.

• Pissed that my Sonic on Hwy. 10 was closed at 1120pm! WTF!
Holy crap! Do these Tweeters really THINK other Tweeple really care when the burger joint down the street closes?

Now don't get me wrong, Twitter has become a great way to push traffic to my blog and ad agency website. Nothing financial has come of three weeks of solid Twittering though, and the Twitterati hasn't punched my card to financial independence. But, I've noticed just about everyone has a scheme for how I can improve my Twitterification, and maybe I'll soon learn the Twouble with the Twit is worth the Twerrible Twime I am having Tweaching my Twfollowers to only Tweet Tweets Twhich I want to Twread.

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