So, following the instructions of Robin Roberts and Ryan Seacrest, my two main sources of news, several months ago I logged on to Twitter. Just as is the case with everything else I have ever done at the behest of the people in the magic box that sits on my dresser, it has been the best decision I ever made.
Here are my five favorite things about Twitter.
1. Celebrities. Celebrities use Twitter just like regular people, so once you find them, you can follow them, send them messages, look at their pictures, etc. unless they specifically block you. Thanks to Twitter, I know that Russell Brand looks good in a wedding dress, and that Neil Patrick Harris is directing a production of Rent in LA, in which he just cast Vanessa Hudgens as Mimi. (Mom, I'll explain all of that later.) Of course, E! News told me the same thing later that day, but I already knew it, because I'm on Twitter.
I personally follow a wide range of celebrities, some of whom are actually famous, like Pink and Ben Stiller. Matthew Perry tweets every week after Lost, but not much else. I follow Demi and Ashton, as required by law, but don't pay much attention to them, as they send a lot of tweets about socially relevant topics like slavery and famine, and I simply don't have time for that. On the other hand, Demi was the one who filled me in about Soleil Moon-Frye's birthday party, so it hasn't been a total waste.
2. Trending Topics. On Twitter, the mysterious giant birds that oversee us all keep track of what keywords are being used more than any other. These are then listed on the sidebar as "trending topics." You can choose to see what is trending worldwide, or what is just trending in your area. As of right now, as I write this entry, here are some of the trending topics:
Now Playing, You Remember, U Know Times Are Hard, Justin Bieber.
This is why I don't watch the news anymore. I don't have to. I only check the news when Twitter reports a celebrity has died, because there have been several Twitter Hoaxes in which one person jokingly tweets that a celebrity is dead, and then it gets re-tweeted until people believe it. Thankfully, the world's greatest living actor, Jeff Goldblum, is still alive, despite numerous Twitterian attempts to change his status from Living to Non-Living.
3. Twitter Personas. My favorite Twitter Persona is Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose Twitter name is @HalfPintIngalls. Her tweets include the following gems:
I'm thinking of starting a Twitter account for my alter-ego, who shall remain nameless at this time, but suffice to say, her Tweets would be all about Justin Bieber. And cats.
4. Literary Challenge. I love that you only get 140 characters. As readers of my extensive oeuvre can attest, I love words. The more complex the word choice, the better. This makes my writing become a bit abstruse at times, even obscuring important plot and character points with needless vocabularic complication. On Twitter, you get 140 characters, including spaces. Thus, this:
"I am adrift in my own malaise today; it is as though a cloud has obscured the sunshine of my hopes and dreams and left me stranded on the isle of ennui."
"I am SO BORED! #bored"
This sort of limitation is good for the soul.
5. Stalking. I have made it my mission to compel as many celebrities as possible to reply to me on Twitter. I do this by shameless flattering, which I think works better than the provocative insult. So far I have reaped wonderful rewards:
Me: @PaulFTompkins You are dapper. Also natty.
PaulFTompkins: @Kaydeb Agreed.
Score! I'm going after Dr. Drew next.