To revise a line from the wise and sage-like Hunter S. Thompson, I feel the same way about Twitter as I do about herpes.
Last week I finally caved in and signed up for a Twitter account. Ever since then I've been glued to my computer monitor, refreshing the screen and waiting for either a gateway to the magical Kingdom of Narnia to open up or message to pop up asking me to resign. I would also like to clear the air right now about my willing/unwilling participation in a real/fake sex scandal that did/sadly didn't happen. Don't cry for former Representative Anthony Weiner; he brought that on himself. The only way it could have been more obvious where that picture was going to go is if the button he clicked to post it said, "Click here to show your d**k to the world." Moron.
I've boycotted Twitter since it started ruining people's lives in 2006, because in case you can't tell, I'm not one for brevity. I can't write about a fart, opening a can of Pringles or brushing my teeth in less than 140 characters, and I was doing just fine without that kind of pressure -- until I started my blog.
There are few things as exciting as starting a blog where you can share all of your world-changing, witty insights. On the flip side, there's equally nothing as depressing as realizing that more people watched and liked the movie Battlefield Earth or would confess in public to thinking Casey Anthony was innocent than read your blog on a weekly basis. So, in an effort to drive traffic to my blog, I decided to follow that little blue bastard bird icon everyone seems to love so much straight down the rabbit hole and into the vortex of weirdness that is Twitter. Charlie Sheen has inhaled more white powder than a guy working on the bagging line at a flour factory and he's got 4.3 million followers. Sure, his Bob Dylan-esque mumbling with the occasional coherent rant about trolls, warlocks and Tiger Blood combined with the when's-he-gonna-OD-and-die factor accounted for most of it, but I can't help but feel like I offer people a little more substance. Not much, but a little.
I know I'm one of the last people in the United States to get a Twitter account because my wife has one. My wife is like some kind of weird Technology Devil. Everything technological she touches wilts and dies. She's in her early 30's, but in tech time she's on par with Andy Rooney, and I'm pretty sure that old buzzard still winds up both his car and his radio, and if you gave him an iPhone he'd probably throw it back at you, yell "Grenade!" and waddle away seeking cover. She finally traded in her mid-90's, bulletproof, Zach Morris-style cell phone for an iPhone 4 a few weeks ago. She's still adjusting to some of the more modern amenities like the lack of an antenna, the relatively light weight, the lack of a bag and physical buttons, and that she doesn't have to chisel the words into the screen like it was a rock tablet and then mail the phone to someone to send a text message.
So I signed up for Twitter, posted the annoying "Follow Me" banner on the side of my blog and waited for the magic to happen. Nothing. I gave it a few hours. Still nothing. I went to bed, woke up the next morning and logged into Twitter, certain the Twitter Fairy would leave me a few followers, only to find nary a digital fart on my page. Depression was setting in. It's one thing to suck in real life but it's something completely different to be told you suck by a pixelated blue bird.
It's been nearly two weeks since I sold my soul to the Twitter Devil, and the little blue bastard bird has yet to pay out. I realize I'm not terribly exciting and I probably need to Tweet more, but I only have a meager three followers, one of whom is a spam bot.
I don't plan on bailing on Twitter anytime soon, but if it continues to give me the cold shoulder I'll just have my wife make a trek through the company's headquarters -- chisel in hand.
[Editorial Note: This column is part of a series on current events for the United Tech Guys. Stop by and check them out.]