Sunday, January 24, 2010


First we hear about Haiti collapsing, and now there are reports that Ricky Gervais is quitting twitter! What is this world coming to? He says it's because he thinks it's "pointless" and "undignified". As an active tweeter myself, I have to, yet again, exercise my powers of persuasion and illumination to show Mr. Gervais the light, and yes, explain twitter. I love twitter! Twitter is great! The Emperor has beautiful new clothes!

My sister was bad mouthing twitter the other day, so I sat down with her (while watching my feed, of course), and proceded to explain why it was so useful:

"Do you know those days, when you've been stuck inside for the entire day, and your five kids have been yelling, and you feel like you need t"

"o scream? That's what us tweeters feel like every day."

This appeased her to some extent, so I followed up with:

"Twitter is our release mechanism."

"RT @thechrisperry Twitter is our release mechanism."

I threw that fancy bit in at the end for her. Yeah. Only inducted members into the tweeter club know what RT means. And only super cool inducted members know that tiny snowmen count as one character. Sometimes, to feel cool, I just walk around town saying 'RT ☃'.1

Whatever it is, it's not pointless. Without twitter, I wouldn't know what it was like to have a life. Now, my mom spent a good portion of my childhood trying to convince me that I had a life, as well as trying to convince me that there did, in fact, exist a condition called being "big boned", but we're not going to cover the latter topic today. However, one glance at twitter will convince even the most loving of mothers that I do not, in fact, have a life. I see evidence of my friends having lives; that is, skiing, smooching girlfriends, finding wives, attending rock concerts, and then there's the occasional friend who only seems to wake up, eat, and discuss "celebrities" with whom I am unfamiliar.

Of course, technically they're not friends.2 Facebook has friends, but in twitter, I just follow them. They're my followees. This was the point in the conversation where my sister calmly suggested I stop doing those sorts of things, and I had to reassure her that yes, I was obeying the restraining order.

Personally, I tweet because I physically can't communicate. Let us here mourn the moment during a date when instead of yelling, "we're all going to die!", I yelled, "I'm going to kill you!" I can assure you, if twitter were my method of communication, I would not have made that mistake, and I probably wouldn't have spent the better part of my adulthood praying that little slip didn't get around. I may follow you, but I'm no serial killer. When given the option, I would probably rather communicate electronically with pretty much everything.3 I believe this trait may be somewhat responsible for the "not having a life" scenario described above.

And people follow me? Er, that might depend on your definition of people. I can't really say that there are sentient humans following me anymore, as I believe my last one hundred and thirteen tweets have covered the amazingly-interesting gamut of a) this publication, b) my statistics skills, and c) the occasional re-tweet of various and sundry strange characters.

For example, through twitter, I'm able broadcast to the world important thoughts like these: dusting off my autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity modeling skillz

How is that not helpful to people? In that one short bit of text not only do you learn that I'm a nerd, and thus have confirmed my lack of life, but you also learn that I'm so hopelessly clueless that I can't even fathom what a nerd I am. Women! Run away! Scream if I ask for your phone number!

In hindsight, I probably should have followed my friend Mz. Berry's line:

"People are gonna be glad I'm not on Tweeter."

(Thanks to @jhammer for that amazing line)

1. Yes, I'm aware it makes no sense, but I'm betting my sister won't catch on to that. She's too busy keeping her children from ripping the wallpaper off of the bathroom walls.
2. At least, not any more. I'm sure every one of them has just de-followed me out of retaliation for my heretical discussion of the twitter.
3. And this definitely goes for dates. This can be problematic when the general world consensus is that it is the height of terribleness to email or text or, ahem, facebook women when asking for dates (not that I've done any of those...)


Jess said...

Thank goodness "tweeter" hasn't replaced gchat altogether so you'll still communicate with those of us that have a "life". ;)

Love it!

drfindley said...

I got a date because of twitter (though I didn't post about it). Say what you want, but it sure has a bunch of real life benefits ;)

Also, people don't tweet enough snowmen.

Lastly, if people tweet using real words, 4 rls, I think twittering is an excellent method to improve your English skills. I can't wait to have an English class with a bunch of 140 character essays!

bek said...

tweeter, twatter
getting fatter
must be the bones
they've gone and growns

me kids think tweet
is only a sweet
my duties i'd shirk
with a twitter network