I have a Twitter account.
This is it if you want to follow me. I promise you that it’s separate from all my other social networking paraphernalia, and I don’t post the same thing on all of them.
Anyway, I have a Twitter account, and I’m not sure why. I’m also not confident I can stop If I’d want to, which I don’t. I love Twitter. It’s the dumbest, most useless thing, ever, except you know during the Iranian election, but otherwise, it’s like candy.
It’s fun. It’s quick. Yet, ultimately, it has no substance, no real nutrition, and in the end you’re no better off, in fact you may be worse because now you’re full of either corn syrup or useless information about what people are doing.
I initially got it before I drove my car back to California because as many of you know, I talk a lot. I just do not shut the fuck up, but being alone was going to be a problem, because I’d just end up talking to myself, and frankly, I don’t need help looking like a crazy person.
So I got Twitter just to have somewhere to send all my random thoughts, dumb observations, and terrible, terrible, jokes during the two day drive. It eventually became an indispensable part of my life, some days more than others. I tend to tweet more when I’ve been drinking, but thank God we can delete specific tweets, right?
Some days I tweet what I’m seeing, other days jokes, or simply random thoughts, but by and large it acts as a way to text message your entire group of friends. I’ve had people respond to tweets I’ve made before text messages and phone calls. I want to become a famous writer and comedian for a lot of reasons (comedians get laid a lot, right?) but one is to amass a large group of followers who will answer questions for me.
We live in an age where the internet is in your pocket, Google and Wikipedia have become shorthand for places to find knowledge, and yet, famous people ask questions on Twitter all the time because it’s probably quicker than looking that shit up yourself.
I’ll go one further and truly integrate it into my life:
My promise to anyone reading this, if I clear 250 legit followers, no bots or company accounts, I will spend one day a month letting Twitter vote on all decisions I make. Where to eat, what route to take, what to buy at the store, what movie to see, what line to use at the bar on a woman, the whole damn day I will yield to democracy.
I noticed the other day that my Twitter is largely not people I know. Unlike Facebook, which is actually somewhat social, my Twitter feed is mostly celebrities I follow so they can talk at me. I am part of that large ether that people tweet at for…what? validity? Recognition?
While I follow a wide variety of writers, comedians, porn stars, and friends, no matter what walk of life they may come from, they generally fall into one of several categories:
These people just want to tell you everything they know about everything. Sometimes this is educational. Nate Cosby is an editor for Marvel Comics, and as such he knows what it takes to break into the comic book industry, is realistic about what you need to do to make that happen, and has an editor’s insight into what they’re looking for in a future employee. He’s also funny as hell and posts pictures of puppies.
Then you have people like Roger Ebert who say things like “Video Games Aren’t Art” despite never playing video games and proclaiming he never will, and then being surprised when the internet doesn’t take kindly to it. Now he’s entitled to his opinion, and him not liking video games in no way affects my enjoyment of them, but his constant dismissive and borderline passive-aggressive defense of those statements clogged my feed. Also, as an arbiter of taste and art he feels compelled to constantly retweet everything the people he follows say. There’s a mother he follows who writes mini-poems and haikus in her twitter and, man, did it get old reading all those. Mr. Ebert if I cared, I’d follow her already.
So Roger Ebert had to go.
There’s a fine line between Professor preferences, and it depends on the person. For example, C.B. Cebulski, is another Marvel editor, and he also dispenses advice on how to get into comics, and he’s obsessed with awesome food, which should be a slam dunk for me, but I always felt his tone was talking down to his followers, so he had to go to.
Also, I had dibs on comic book/food guy. Dick.
The I’m Doing This Ironically:
I don’t have a specific example, because the second I find one of these people, I expunge them from my feed instantly.
They usually like to tweet things like “just had a doughnut. I scratched me nose.” “I don’t get this.”
Awesome you’re a Luddite. Awesome, you value your privacy, because Twitter is so invasive, or you can’t tweak setting on Facebook. Awesome, you think this is silly.
I don’t like FourSquare. I think THAT is creepy, invasive, and weird, but roommate likes it, and I don’t begrudge him his enjoyment of it. At the same time I don’t start an account then keep signing in from inside my closet or the shitter at work to make a statement.
If you hate it, then don’t do it.
Don’t get in the car of someone going to a baseball game, buy a ticket for the baseball game, walk into the stadium, and then bitch nonstop when you’re at a baseball game. What are you, five?
Listen, it’s perfectly acceptable to tell people about a show you’re doing, promoting, or say, a blog you may have written. I do it all the time. I did it for this entry, but that’s not all I do.
Goddamn, I hate people who only use twitter to shill shit. It’s fucking dumb, and I can’t believe they actually have followers after a couple days of that.
It’s in par with being invited to events by people you haven’t spoken to in weeks, months, or ever over on Facebook. Again, it’s annoying, but I’m not complaining, I knew what I was getting into when I agreed to it.
It’s just dumb as hell. I’m not sure what Twitter’s for, but I’m fairly certain it’s not a Craigslist offshoot or a virtual college flyer kiosk.
Or maybe it is, and I’m missing the point.
The This is How I Hide My Crazy:
Most geniuses are nuts. They’re touched a little in the head. Maybe it’s their penance for having all that talent, or maybe being slightly left of center is what allows them to stand apart from everyone else.
One of my favorite quotes is “Talent hits a target no one else can reach. Genius hits a target no one else can see.”
I follow a lot of comic book writers, screen writers, actors, and comedians, and a lot of times their feeds read like something a homeless person would yell at the sky or toward the floor of the bus. Twitter is their release valve. I used to torture people in my comedy group trying to make every last joke I wrote or said into a three minute skit, and honestly, not everything that gets a laugh needs to be a skit. SNL is proof of that *rim shot.* This is how creative types let stuff go. There’s an inherent need for some people to perform. It’s their validation, but not everything needs to be put into a TV show, comic book, movie, or stand up set.
Matt Fraction is like the Beatles of comic book writers; he’s both popular and good, but man, sometimes I wonder if Child Services would be able to use his feed against him in a custody battle. When the advertising for Hawaii Five-0 really got going, he changed his picture to Scott Caan and spend a couple days tweeting as “Aqua Cop.”
They are fantastic feeds, and are why I joined Twitter in the first place.
The I’m Missing the Point:
I have a few people who completely miss the point of Twitter. They do what the ironic guys do with the utmost sincerity.
“I just woke up!”
“Coffee is delicious! LOL”
“Is anyone out there? j/k”
“Seriously. Acknowledge me.”
Most of the time they’re harmless and every couple of weeks there will be a tweet announcing that they forgot they had an account, then two or three tweets about what they’re eating, when they leave for work, the weather, and then they go away, again.
It’s kind of like watching a baby watch television.
The Hot Girl Who Knows She’s Hot:
Gang, I follow a lot of porn stars. I do this largely because it fulfills a dream I’ve had since I was a child where women send naked pictures of themselves to me. If you set their account to send to your phone whenever they post, it’s like having a stable of slutty girls sending you pictures of their boobs.
Technology is amazing.
Sadly, most of the time, I’m at the computer at work, so I have to remember who posted pics so I can look at them from the comfort of home.
However, in order to get those pictures, you have to deal with these women constantly tweeting that they’re about to go fuck someone (rarely, if ever, you) and that they are constantly assailed by women who aren’t as hot as they are and are upset about this. Now, if they were hilarious burns, it’d be okay, but they aren’t. They’re about how other women are fat. Or have bad skin. Or are like the girls they left behind in high school.
You know who doesn’t yell at, taunt, or acknowledge detractors? Tom Cruise. Will Smith. Bruce Willis. Uma Thurman. Denzel Washington. Matt Damon. Tina Fey.
Do you know why?
Because they’re fucking stars. Step one is acting like it.
Two women who are the exception are Alison Brie from Mad Men and Community, who tweets somewhat infrequently, but tends to post a lot of behind the scenes pictures from Community, and Diora Baird from my dreams. Baird posts pictures, always work-safe, but is also very self aware with a great sense of humor, especially when you consider they only let her play strippers and a victim in b-movies about vampires.
And she posts pictures of puppies.
The Fake Account:
A lot of people have such an iconic personality that they get tribute Twitter accounts. Gary Busey has one, and frankly I’m not sure the real one would be that different.
J. Jonah Jameson, the editor of the Daily Bugle, and Spider-Man’s boss, has one of the best ones. He’s just an angry, angry man who wants his coffee now and his worthless staff to do work. If you’re a Marvel nerd, his constant twitter berating of Ben Urich, impatience with Parker always being late, and threatening to frame his staff for drug trafficking so the Punisher will murder them is comic gold.
Finally there’s Craig Finn, the lead singer of the Hold Steady. Someone started a Twitter account under the auspices of being him, but tweeting lines and verses not good enough to make the album.
Some of them are actually better than some of the stuff that “made” the album, but if you’re familiar with his lyrical style and subject matter it’s equal parts giggling knowingly and wondering if it’s actually him.
The Mickey Rourke one is okay. There’s some gold there, like a kid not laughing at his moped anymore because Rourke drove at him going full speed and swinging nunchuks, or how he doesn’t remember getting home because the bird drove, but it reeks of trying too hard a lot of the time.
Don’t get me started on Shit My Dad Says. Early on it was good, and felt almost honest. The tweets were like hard won wisdom passed on by a man who doesn’t have anything to prove, like if Robert Duvall was your dad, but then it got popular, and then it got mean just to be shocking, and now it’s on CBS.
The Kanye West:
Kanye is out of his fucking mind. I love the guy’s whole catalog, but I realize and acknowledge he’s got problems and issues, but seriously, his Twitter feed is like the ramblings of an 8 year old who is possessed by the ghost of Daniel Plainview, a fringe scientist, and an Egyptian Pharaoh.
Posted on October 1, 2010, in Lists, Matt Loman, Pop Culture and tagged crazy people, Matt Loman, the internet, The system goes online on August 4th 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware 2:14 AM Eastern time August 29th., twitter, we're living in the future. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.