Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Twitter, Catullus and me

Isaac (my son) and Diane, a writing friend, persuaded me to join up to Twitter in February and since then I have tweeted over a hundred times.

Am I pleased?

Is it worth the bother?

This jury is out.

I can see if your friends and colleagues are on Twitter, it would be fun and/or helpful to be on Twitter, too. You can share ideas and jokes and useful links to stuff on the net. You can have a running conversation throughout your day. Unfortunately, apart from said writing friend above, not one of my friends is on Twitter, so I tweet in an ocean of strangers.

On the other hand I do like seeing what Isaac is talking about when he’s awake. And he does post links to his wonderful photographs via Twitter – including ones like this of my granddaughter, Lux.

bean day 245  april 2011

But other joys on Twitter are few. Yes, there are some links to interesting stuff on the net: I wouldn’t have found about Authors for Japan if I hadn’t been on Twitter. And Samira Ahmed of Channel 4 News signposts current discussions in the media that I’m interested in.

But apart from my Californian family, the one tweeter who really adds something to my day is someone calling himself @arjunbasu. He tweets a lot, and almost all his tweets are vignettes. Here are some examples:

This is some deep valley, he says, and this is one obvious statement too many, but they are alone in the wilderness, so she merely says, Yes

He cuts a tomato while whistling Hava Nagila. I don't know you anymore, she says. And he thinks she's really talking about his new underwear

He woke up and went to work in the kitchen and then she woke up and he said, Pancakes? and she said, But I like to be grumpy in the morning.

It was last call. He was stuck in the bathroom without toilet paper. His cell phone's battery was empty. So he started thinking up his will.

And where does Catullus fit in?  The 140 character constraint makes Twitter a place designed for epigrams. I am sure that Catullus and Martial would have tweeted. Why don’t more people use Twitter to say something clever or witty? Who bloody cares that @Michael43 has just got home from the gym, or that @sarah123 is eating chocolate fridge cake?

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