Since first signing up to Twitter® in 2011, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the social behemoth, played out by ignoring it for the first few years.
Like Facebook®, (with which I have a hate/hate relationship due in no small part to Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network as a sociopath who should have no input into my life at all) their pervasive nature makes me uneasy. That and the fact that I feel compelled to write the grovelling letter ® after their names lest I be sued for infringement of something.
But while Facebook® can be ignored if you don’t mind having no social life – and especially if you don’t want others to know you have no social life – Twitter® has a way of popping it’s head above the parapet to pique your interest or make you laugh out loud
or compel you to pen a few lines of outrage.
There’s a skill in saying something pithy or clever or funny in a limited number of characters. What a great retirement challenge:
#43 Get to Grips with Twitter®
Like all technologies, it has a language of its own, but once you get your head around all the symbols, it makes sense. Sort of.
- If you wake one morning to discover that Prince Philip of England has been given an Australian knighthood on Australia Day and you want to share this hilarious/inappropriate/that’s-when-Tony Abbott-jumped-the-shark moment, you can tweet a comment immediately and read other posts sent by people who choked on their vegemite toast that morning on hearing the news and just had to tweet about it, too.
- And if you also wanted Mr Abbott to know that you thought he’d gone stark raving mad and that his days were numbered, you can include his Twitter® name – which is @tonyabbottMHR – in your tweet too, so he gets a copy.
- It is not compulsory to follow the lives of starlets or celebrities.
Twitter® becomes much more interesting when you realise that you only need follow tweets from people whose opinions you value. Provided they don’t have them too frequently. (Sorry I eventually had to unfollow you, @annabelcrabb, but seriously… ).
Shortly after working out how to tweet, I discovered that narcissism takes over and you find yourself wanting someone to like one of your tweets or better still, to re-tweet it to their followers.
Sending out a tweet in which you praise a public institution – especially one that gets complaints most of the time – is a surefire way that they’ll like your message and retweet your words – to a much larger pool of followers than you could ever hope to have yourself.
So I began my Twitter® experience by sending this flattering tweet accompanied by photo:
Sure enough, one ‘retweet’ and one ‘like’. Yay!!
Pretty soon your eyes are peeled for anything clever or funny you can tweet about in the elusive search for more likes and more retweets.
Watching Arthur Sinodinos interviewed in front of a Sydney ‘backdrop’ (aka a blue screen) recently, a camera malfunction left him looking like this:
Childhood memories of crudely painted graffiti on brick walls in back streets suddenly returned, and after a quick search for the right photo and a bit of rejigging, I was able to tweet this:
Suddenly 8 ‘retweets‘ and 4 ‘likes‘!
Twitter® was becoming dangerously addictive by now.
Most recently, Mike Baird, the Premier of NSW, decided to ban greyhound racing after an impeccable investigative report found it to be so steeped in systemic and entrenched cruelty that it was unsalvageable. (Thank you, Mr Baird)
What should happen, but our Deputy Prime Minister – who claims to speak for country folk – came out in support of the greyhound racing industry with these am-I-reading-this-correctly words:
As the owner of a smallish sighthound who avidly followed these greyhound reports on television:
It hit the spot.
It’s up to 20 retweets and 21 likes now. Who’d have guessed that an outraged tweet against a politician would be popular?
But that’s it. I think I’m done with Twitter® now, because at the end of the day, how many retweets would be enough? Fifty? A thousand? A hundred thousand?
Best go out on a high before I get sucked in further…