There are certain cultural references that both divide and define generations.
The Doctor and I recently spent an entire weekend in the Hamptons quizzing his 22-year-old nanny about music. It completely blew our minds that she had never even heard of Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Nirvana, New Order, or The Cure. How was that fucking even possible? Heck, I've never listened to an Englebert Humperdink album but at least I've heard of him.
After we got over the shock of feeling old, the Doctor and I came to realize that kids today don't know shit about music.
Want to know what the new dividing cultural reference is?
Most friends my age have no understanding of Twitter.
As Wikipedia explains it, "Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users' updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user's profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers)."
Could anything sound dumber or less intellectually-stimulating? It sounds like writing in Morse Code.
However, everyone from my agent to fellow bloggers to readers are pushing me to join Twitter. I literally get about 20 e-mails per week from strangers asking me to please start a Twitter page.
Here are my problems with Twitter.
(1) I don't like the fact that people who subscribe to your Twitter page are called "followers." When I think of "followers," I think of Jim Jones, Joel Osteen, and Oprah Winfrey. Call me crazy.
wants to believe that they’re important because
everyone, at their core, is a narcissist. And how better to give
yourself an inflated sense of importance than to think that there are large numbers of people who are reading a 140 word post you’ve written that
says, “Going to the store to look for cereal. Hope they have Chex!” Please spare me the details of your boring life.
(3) I was recently at a dinner with a bunch of 20 year olds. All of them spent the entire night twittering. All it did was make me realize that kids today have the attention span of fruit flies. If you speak to them using more than 140 characters, their minds literally go into shutdown mode and they'll go on their iphones and twitter "stuck at dinner next to some weird old guy who won't stop talking."
Anyway, in the name of science, I decided to imagine what I would write if I had my own Twitter page so I wrote down every thought I've had in the past 24 hours. I'm pretty sure I won't follow through on actually joining Twitter because really, who has the fucking time?
Regardless, here are the past 24 hours of my life as expressed via Twitter:
- New York City smells like a wet tampon today, n'est-ce pas?
- It's cool connecting with high-school friends on Facebook but the abortion bills are killing me!
- Why do they only do construction work in my office when I have a hangover?
- "I'm considering being one of those guys who claims not to watch tv," he said as he watched yet another episode of "Real Houswives of New York."
- Why would my co-worker think I would give a shit about his vegetable garden?
- My apartment has a faint smell of mouse poop and toddler pee.
- I want to join the NFL just so I can show off my dope-ass touchdown dances.
- Apparently I'm on a diet of egg whites and tequila. Lost 5 pounds and 5,000 brain cells.
- My daughter is high on chocolate and running around naked. It's like the pre-school version of Burning Man.
- Am I the only one who thinks Campbell Brown has freaky cheekbones?
- I am Kaiser Soze!
- Better name for my imaginary son? Jack Bauer Kim or Mookie Wilson Kim?
- Oprah joining Twitter is like your grandma getting a tattoo, a Brazilian wax, and a belly button ring. No offense, Nana. Love your new tats!
- The "Housewives of New York" reminds me of Dorothy Parker and the Algonguin Round Table. Not!
- It's really true. Sometimes you can just smell "the crazy."
- If you name your daughter Siena, should you be surprised when she grows up to be a stripper?
I'm still undecided on the whole Twitter thing. It seems too exhausting (and boring.) Obviously writing on this blog is kicking my ass enough as it is. However, I do kind of like the idea of writing down quick brain farts instead of fully-formed blog posts.
I'm pretty sure that I'll never start a Twitter page. Honestly, I'm just too damn old. Forty-year-old dads should just not be on Twitter. In fact, there should be a law against it. However, tell me YOUR Twitter pages and some of your favorite ones so I can judge this whole phenomenon more rationally. Maybe I'll change my mind.
But I seriously doubt it.