It only took a decade, but now I’m on Twitter. I created my account just a few days ago and I still don’t believe I’ve done it. When the now-famous social networking platform was launched, I must admit I doubted its utility and was skeptical of its future. That was almost 10 years ago.
How times have changed!
Nowadays, if you’re going to meet people, find a job, communicate with your nearest and dearest, or just network your way across that other social media platform we like to call “Life,” you had better tweet if you know what’s good for you.
A Twitter account is coming to embrace the commonality of those other staples of individual validity: the Social Security number and the Driver’s License.
By the time I reached college, having an SS # was not even an option. If you wanted to find your posted test scores, if you wanted to carry a Student ID card, whatever it was, your SS # was the handle by which your file would be fished out of the primordial ocean you shared with the rest of the student body.
As of this writing, the Driver’s License is still the primary form of identification most people carry. Even non-drivers either acquire one or its officially-sanctioned substitute, the state-issued photo ID Card.
I’ve even encountered Amish folk who carry such cards, although theirs lack the photos, in deference to the Amish rejection of photographic technology on the grounds that such pictures violate the Second Commandment (that’s the one that prohibits the worship of any “graven image.”)
One of the reasons I have withheld myself from the Twitterverse for so long is a deeply-rooted conviction that I have very little to say that would be of any real interest to anyone. At least nothing that can be adequately expressed in 140 characters or less. I tend to get long-winded when I write: that’s why I blog.
So I reached out to one of my social network contacts and asked her what I should tweet..
Her advice was perfectly sensible: I should tweet about anything, anything at all, but most realistically I should tweet about subjects that I know and love. In other words, whatever I want is fair game.
And, apparently, so am I.
You see, there exists no shortage of people and corporations who desire nothing more than my undivided attention in order to promote themselves, their products and agendas via tweets. Most people are aware that pop music stars tweet all the time. Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, and Lady Gaga are merely the most widely known of these folks promoting their brands by this most automatic and seemingly-intimate medium.
Almost every major business corporation tweets to loyal and prospective customers regularly. McDonalds, Nike, Holiday Inn and all major film studio and broadcast networks employ a virtual battalion of people whose job it is to always keep their employers names and products front and center before the likely customer’s eyes.
So here I am.
But all is not sweetness and light in the land of Twitter.
All sorts of folks will be able to read what I write: friends, family, co-workers and potential employers, just to name a few.
This means my tweets could be used against me at some future date.
The mass media are rife with stories about people whose tweets have come back to haunt them, even after the offending passage in question has been deleted. Just ask the NSA or anybody else who may conduct a sufficiently thorough background check.
Gee, nobody mentioned that to me, at least not in so many words of 140 characters or less.
So please feel free to view, follow, re-tweet or what-have-you, just please remember: if anything I’ve written offends you, I stoutly maintain I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.
Unless, of course, you like it, in which case I do.
You are welcome to follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JayPochapin
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