Monday, February 28, 2011

To Tweet or Not To Tweet

That is the question. 

Or is it ‘to twit’? Is there a verb tense I should be aware of, and is it really a verb? These boring questions don’t, in fact, matter but posting them here helps to empty the bucket of useless questions and random (often made up) trivia that bounce around my brain on a daily basis. Hence, the blog, as stated in my first post. Your participation in this is appreciated even though, as a particularly cruel blogging-overlord, I rarely say thanks. I guess this is the perfect opportunity, then, to remember you, the reader, and say- Quiet you! You knew the risks coming in, now keep reading!

Although I may be slow to adapt to changes with regards to life in general, I am not adverse to using technology and the new gadgets it brings us. When I say things like “I don’t watch television” or “I don’t use Facebook”, or “I don’t have a mobile (cell phone)”, I realize that I sound like an ancient dinosaur (sans all the roaring, foraging for vegetation, and the thunderous crashing of the trees being knocked down, which I am sure happened as I saw this both in Jurassic Park, and in Ice Age). I was among the first wave of people to embrace Facebook (and yes I do imagining the scene from Saving Private Ryan when they are all in the landing boat about to get shot up when I say "wave") and I thought it was, well.......a bit pointless.

That’s not to say all you wonderful people using it are wasting your time- She Who Is To Be Named Later uses it regularly and I fully realize how it can, in fact, bring people together and promote communication. With her family living in a rural, civilization-starved, sheep-filled wilderness (or Wales as they fondly call it) these  new-fangled, modern contraptions like Facebook are very useful.

Just the other day we were provided (subjected to) the photos of some pink, squishy-looking, new-born babes, still hot from the oven, who were born to her brother (who incidentally escaped Wales, only to end up in another god-forsaken, barbarian-filled, untamed wilderness called Australia). It was a wonderful family moment that made you happy to be alive, I was told, in between battles in World of Tanks. What? Insensitive? Me? I’m leveling my Tank Destroyer which has more immediacy, and a greater impact on my life than a set of twins ever will. By the time they are old enough to help me I won’t even be playing World of Tanks anymore, so really, what’s the point......

Right. So now that you’ve experienced a bit of the living hell that is She Who Will Be Named Later’s daily life, we’ll move on.

I never really took Facebook all that seriously. I created a profile as my dog and posted as if I was him talking which was actually good fun. I wouldn’t answer people directly but instead would force them to talk as if they were speaking to my dog. Hilarious on so many levels but likely only to me, in retrospect. In the end I gave it up and deleted it because:

  1. I had absolutely no interest in people from my past. Hated them then, hate them now, don’t care what they are up to.
  2.  My alleged ‘friends’ continued to post things on my wall which true friends would know I had no interest in: Save the Dolphins? No, thank you, I like tuna. Violence Against Women? I’m against, so no, thank you. Cruelty to Cats? For, actually, so again, no thank you. New Nickleback song? Automatic de-friending offence.
  3.  I’d rather just call someone if I was interested in talking to them because I’m old school like that.

I am a bit chuffed that my group Lurchers For The Domination Of Mankind is still accessible, er that is to say my dog is chuffed that the group he started is still accessible. Most of my dissatisfaction with Facebook simply stems from my avoidance of most things labeled ‘social’. In my capacity as His Majesty’s Chief Torturer I don’t meet a lot of people (more than once) so my real-life social network is fairly small.

Fast forward to present day where I am blogging (how very public, and dogging!), and I’ve also created a Raptr profile to track my game time for the Sandbox Challenge. I am looking at Twitter, which I always though of as an extremely condensed version of Facebook (status update: I'm drunk!), as the next step in my online-evolution. I see the advantages of it but I am wondering if I can really be bothered. I see some people with three thousand tweets and I wonder: does anyone really want that many random thoughts from my head? I realize it is more than that. It is also a way of connecting with like-minded individuals and discussing topics of interest.

On the more self-serving side it would be a good way to promote the blog but to what end? Do I need a lot of readers to make this ‘worthwhile’. The answer, of course, is no. My intention was never to amass a large following but if I did, you can be sure I would use them specifically for evil and never good. At the end of the day, however, we all want some readers and/or input or we’d simply write in a diary, hide it under our bed, and wear the key around our neck.

Dear Diary,

Today I met a wonderful boy by the name of Twitter. He’s so dreamy. He lets me talk all the time and he seems so understanding. Whenever I look into his starry, blue eyes my heart skips a beat, and I wonder what it would feel like to hold him in my arms.....but I mustn’t! I have promised my love to Facebook. How could I betray him with the likes of Twitter? Oh Diary, whatever shall I do? I thought I loved Myspace once but that was so fleeting. If only my one true love, the Bulletin Board System, would come back to me, but he is gone and I have to move on.

So back to the question: To Tweet or not to Tweet. I see the advantages but do I really need to worry about followers, and listings, and who’s twitting me? Do I need to expose myself the to possibility of virtual social rejection through friend invites and networking? Isn’t there enough rejection and social awkwardness in real life? Is there nowhere to hide? I am fairly resistant to social situations (and applications) so perhaps my procrastination is rather silly, and like Hamlet I should just get on with it and kill my Uncle.....or at least threaten him over Twitter.

My first post could be:

@Gankalicious:  I’m pissed I haven’t killed my stupid incestuous uncle yet. I’m going to get at that right now dammit! Oh bugger, my World of Tanks battle just popped. Jagdpanther, thy name is frailty! But holy jeebus you’ve got a big gun.

A Passage from William Tweetspeare:

To tweet, or not to tweet: that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The textual silence of a virtual world
Or to take arms against a sea of Tweets.
And by opposing end them? To Tweet: To Text;
No more; and by a Tweet to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That Tweeting is heir to, ‘tis a consummation
Devoutly to be read. To Tweet, to post;
To Tweet: perchance to communicate: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that Tweet of death what words may come
When we have shuffled off this real-life coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That may give us new readers
Who would bear the whips and scorns of my blog.


  1. Twitter, as far as gaming goes, is more of a conversation platform than it is a status update spamming platform. You'll find yourself quickly unfollowed if you let programs tweet unconditional crap on a regular basis. It really is what you make of it. Follow the right people and you'll have short bits of engaging conversation all the time. Follow the wrong ones, and you'll get the same garbage you find on other "social" sites. Garbage in, garbage out, or so they say.

  2. I'm in an almost completely the same boat regarding social networking system or whatchamacallit as you Gankalicious. Only that I never had a FB account where I'd pretend to be my dog, hillarious.

    I find them pointless and irritating. I started a blog not to hang out, as pleasant as it is to engage in a conversation in the comments, but to write and spread my ideas.

    And while I consider Twitter and all it's twats to be the lesser of the many evils, I just can't see the point. If I am to promote my blog, what good will announcing every post on Twitter do? Since people who follow me there will surely be aware of the blog and if they are genuinely interested they can subscribe. I really don't care for random passer-bys who aren't even remotely interested in the blog, even if Twitter could provide them (I doubt that).

    And I really can't see myself having a meaningful conversation by way of intermitten messages containing 140 (is it?) letters.

    Another ridicilous post that still conveys its meaning. I'm shocked and entertained. :D

  3. @ Grimnir- You're right about the 'garbage in garbage out'. My problem with Facebook is that people could post their garbage on my space. With Twitter I guess the damage would be limited to single-comments ;)

    @Zewar- I too find them pointless and irritating but that doesn't mean I can't have some fun with it (like I did with Facebook). I'm glad I am able to both shock, and entertain you, without having to resort to nudity.