Last week I lost my Twitter virginity. Like losing my real virginity at age 20, again I felt a bit behind the curve and wanted to wait until it seemed worth it. So last week after watching Barbara Walters send her first tweet live on “The View,” I felt motivated and a little pressured to set up my own Twitterberry. After all, I work in the media and as much as I like to kick it old school and actually hold and read a newspaper, the future of 140 character communication is here – unfiltered, fast and frankly, bizarre.
I’ll admit that while I’m sort of digging the instant gratification and entertainment that Twitter technology provides while I stand in line at the post office, I’m still sort of flummoxed by it all. I’m convinced it’s just another addictive tech tool feeding what feels like an adult onset case of ADD. Or maybe it’s simply an indulgent, narcissistic form of modern expression at a time when everyone believes that they should be famous?
Yes, I’ve read that Twitter has already proved quite helpful in getting vital information out during crises ranging from forest fires to terrorist attacks, and this is noteworthy. But from what I’ve picked up in my limited Twitter time is that most of the chatter and stream of ramblings are about considerably less urgent matters such as who should win “American Idol” and whether homely, British sensation Susan Boyle is selling out by having her eyebrows waxed.
For no real reason, I am now following an eclectic mix of Twitterers from NPR’s Scott Simon and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos to Kevin Spacey, Brooke Burke, Oprah, Mr. and Mrs. Kutcher (that would be Demi and Ashton to the rest of the world), infamous DJ and Lindsay ex Samantha Ronson, Britney Spears and MSNBC rock star Rachel Maddow among others.
There is something oddly fascinating reading about the mundane minutiae of famous people. It’s like when US Weekly catches celebrities doing bourgeois acts like pumping gas or pushing a stroller. For some reason capturing the beautiful in these every day acts makes the rest of us feel a little better about our own lives. After all, “they change diapers too!”
According to my Twitter “friend feed,” in the past week Brooke Burke was, “on the beach with the kids and still without a nanny,” heaven forbid! Kevin Spacey was nervous about his new show, Oprah was making dinner plans, Samantha Ronson was woken up by a car alarm and then had maid service re-stock her M&Ms, and George Stephanopoulos alerted the world that Pennsylvania’s Republican Senator Arlen Specter was switching teams.
Aside from Stephanopoulos’s tweet, the others did feel strangely intimate. Perhaps that’s the charm, manipulating the public to feel like they have a tight relationship with you. It is a brilliant celebrity PR move.
But what is Twitterable material for the rest of us regular folk? On my excursion to Lululemon Athletica, the fabulous yoga shop in New York City, I thought I may have found fodder for my first tweet. Trying on summery clam digger yoga pants, I was startled by the non cheating, three-way mirrors that seemed to magnify every dimple in my ass cellulite – dimples I was shocked to even discover. Was it the lighting or was it me? As I stood in the dressing room sizing up my ass, I wondered if this discovery Tweetable activity? Should I be posting “Lululemon has mirrors that magnify your flaws. Shop at Barneys, where their trick mirrors make you look skinnier.”
I considered this update, but also weighed the poor professional move a lunchtime tweet could ultimately evolve into given that for some reason my posting are being followed by apparently everyone from my mother to reporters at the New York Times. I’m finding this intimidating. But then again, if I start writing my own witty, yet informative tweets, maybe it could catapult me into a lucrative tweeting career…perfect for the working mom on the move. Is there a real future in this? I think there just might be. After all, way back in 2005, had anyone even heard of a blogger?