Saturday, March 19, 2016

Twitter: A lesson in liberation in 140 characters

This picture has nothing to do with the text but it's pretty


By Mary Meehan
I'm the one who is an accidental sexter

Don't feel bad for not understanding Twitter

It's like the Cloud and Donald Trump's choice of hair style -- truly unfathomable.

The Trump/Hair joke is cheap, I know, but I needed to get it in before anti-Trump comments are banned.

A semi-famous,  tech-savvy head of a pseudo-solvent, start-up said recently that no one really understands Twitter.

In fact, he admitted that other things we middle-aged, middle Americans will never use and have likely never heard of like SnapChat remain stubbornly without instruction. Why is that? "Digital natives", people who have been playing with our phones since they were 3, don't like instructions, they just like to figure it out. Apparently, this is because it makes them feel like the digital "in crowd" .

This is the same group that can't crack the code of doing their own laundry, getting their own apartments and who are also entranced with the pencil as an object 'd art that needs to be perfectly balanced and created by craftspeople in a gluten-free workshop in Portland ...Oregon, of course, not Maine.

I understand the sentiment. It is like being the first girl in 5th grade to discover One Direction on via the Internet and telling your Mom who became equally smitten, although you've moved but she stayed weirdly obsessed....oh those cheeky lads!!!

It seems like a really stupid business plan. Make your product impossible to use beyond early adapters who will soon move onto something else they can decipher before others which means you never really grab a suitably broad base in of any market share to to succeed,.

But that's not why we are here today.

By saying no one understands Twitter my semi-famous anonymous source was onto something. I've jumped on social media, Twitter in particular, not because I longed to express myself in 140 characters but because my job told me I had to.

So, for me, there was no joy in Tweeting. Most of us in media, which includes me but I don't like to talk about it, jumped on Twitter because it was the next big thing five years ago and we missed the next big thing of 15 years ago, the Internet, so we don't let any Big Thing pass without throwing ourselves at it like a Ted Cruz launching himself at an uncommitted delegate.
And, like that uncommitted delegate, I didn't enjoy it. I didn't have any real back and forth with followers, I followed all who followed me because I just wanted to see those numbers rise. (Shout out to GdatAustrailia! 140 characters, who can say anything in 140 characters?

So now I have, collectively, a whopping 250 followers here's the life lesson that seems like a good motto for the wider world.

I know you've been waiting. The back and forth is fun. The differing opinions are enlightening. The movement and pace of the exchanges are enticing and, the best part, if I don't like something I can bounce.

So here is Twitter motto that I'm also applying in my non-digital life.

I decide to who follow, I decide who to block, what's important and what's noise. I'm tethered to no one and they get no say if I go.

(That's 140 characters)