Archive for Sunday, March 8, 2009

New fad has her all aTwitter

March 8, 2009


It’s springtime in a Disney-fied Technicolor forest. Flower, Thumper and Bambi are watching two little birds fluttering and tweeting above them. Their adorable cartoon faces appear puzzled.

Flower: “Well! What’s the matter with them?”

Thumper: “Why are they acting that way?”

Friend Owl: “Why, don’t you know? They’re twitterpated.”

Flower, Bambi, Thumper: “Twitterpated?”

Friend Owl: “Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You’re walking along, minding your own business. You’re looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head’s in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you’re walking on air. And then you know what? You’re knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!”

That scene was from “Bambi,” one of my all-time favorite animated pictures, released in 1942.

Sixty-seven years later, it’s almost springtime again, and I’m surrounded by a bunch of twitterpated tweeters who’ve been knocked for a loop and have completely lost their heads.

This isn’t “Bambi 2: The Next Generation.” These tweeters aren’t lovebirds flitting through the trees. They are human beings whose fingers flit fleetingly over their keyboards.

Their heads are in a whirl. Woo-woo! They’re twitterpated over

For those of you living under a rock — no, let me rephrase — for those of you who are actually out there experiencing life, as opposed to habitually texting about it, here’s the scoop on Twitter from Wikipedia: “Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them.”

In other words, Twitter is a place where you can learn what your co-worker ate for breakfast (blueberry scone, coffee with soy milk and a banana ... yum!), how many miles your neighbor just logged on the treadmill (5), how much your niece REALLY loves Beyonce (OMG, let me count the ways!!), what the temperature is outside on a minute-to-minute basis (72 ... 75 ... 80 — yay!) and any number of insanely useless tidbits of information you could SO live without knowing, in 140 characters or less.

In the last week, there’s been an outbreak of Twittermania in the newsroom where I work. Colleagues who used to have pleasant, if not altogether scintillating, face-to-face conversations are now hunched over their laptops “tweeting” each other:

Twitterpated Guy: “Awesome day. 80 degrees. Just walked back from lunch.”

Twitterpated Dude @Twitterpated Guy: “What’d you have??”

Twitterpated Guy @Twitterpated Dude: “Burger with bleu cheese. Too much bleu cheese.”

I actually took time out of my day to read this captivating exchange. What a waste of a perfectly good 20 seconds.

So, does that mean that I am on Twitter? Of course, I am.

Listen, I know what it’s like to be at the bottom of the social networking food chain. I learned my lesson with Facebook. I’ve felt the pain of having only a handful of virtual friends to call my own. Only after sending out a desperate, humbling plea in this very space did my friend count reach a respectable number. Never mind that I have so many “friends” now, I wouldn’t know some of them if they ran me over in the street. The point is, I’m in the game. I’m not about to be left behind by the Twitter train.

Besides, Twitter isn’t just about paltry pieces of pesky pap. By following the right tweeters (CBS News, NPR or Anderson Cooper, for instance), information junkies like me can get a steady stream of breaking news and other factoids that I can link to, read, then promptly forget due to my filled-to-capacity short-term memory bank.

The problem, as with Facebook, is the junior high-like pressure that comes with the social networking territory. Do I have enough followers? Am I following enough people? Can I quit following my Beyonce-obsessed niece without her finding out? And would someone tweet Anderson Cooper and ask him if he likes me? You know, like, “like-like”?

Friend Owl was right. Nearly everybody gets Twitterpated in the springtime. But, I’m not about to go down without a fight.

In the meantime, please, please, please follow me. I’m @BoomerGirl1.

— Cathy Hamilton is a 53-year-old empty nester, wife, mother and author, who blogs every day at


Hoots 9 years, 2 months ago

I really don't have time for another thing to keep track of. How many more time wasters can we come up with in society? I don't really need to know what my friends are doing every second of the day. I would rather get together with them like several of us do a few times a week and catch up. They fill in the impotant parts and we all get to have a real human interaction. I'd much rather hear a funny story face to face instead of getting a meaningless tweet. Did anyone notice a number of the idiots in Congress tweeting during Obama's State of the Union address? That was the untimate in classless behavior. Pretty soon no one will get anything done at work because they will spend the whole day Facebooking, Myspacing, texting, Tweeting, and whatever the next time wasting flavor of the moment is. There's a time and place for everything but some don't realize that all the time and every place is rude.

Omegatron 9 years, 2 months ago

Another story about twitter... wow, how much are they paying you to advertise the hell out of it?

Omegatron 9 years, 2 months ago

BTW: You are doing a good job advertising it... much more better then LJW did in earlier stories...

Hoots 9 years, 2 months ago

I don't get it. CNN has been pushing Twitter like crazy on some of their programs. The anchors of these shows talk more about Twitter than what the show's about. I swear on a few of their programs they mention in once every couple fo minutes. It's almost like we are being advertised to without having a real commercial. It's similar to those old black and white TV shows in the early days when the host would constantly mention the benifits of this or that product. Is this just another form of product placement?.

Hoots 9 years, 2 months ago

Another thing. If I don't want to know what people I know and like are doing every second I'm surely not going to care what Boomergirl1 is doing period. I like some of her articles but TMI to read her tweets.

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