The devil must have made me do it. Or, the Grand Lord of Why Not? Because a mere three days ago I had blogified about how Twitter didn't interest me.
And now I have a Twitter page. An Emerson quote comes to mind:
What turned the corner on tweeting for me was a moment when, in the course of pondering the pros and cons of opening a Twitter account, and thinking "this craze is useless," I realized:
Yes! That's the point! Uselessness!
Such was one of the themes in my "The Tao of Paris Hilton" post, the popularity of which made it possible for this blog to surpass a million page views in a relatively short time. (Tip: to generate web traffic, put up photos of semi-naked famous female cultural icons.)
Once I appreciated the Taoist beauty of Twitter's uselessness, where most communications are 140 characters of less of inanity, my fingers raced to the sign-up page.
I worry about what I say on my blog posts. I try to make sense in my email messages. But with Twitter... fuck it! How wrong can I go in 140 characters? Plus, who's going to read my crappy tweets anyway?
At the moment, hardly anyone. So my first goal is to attract some followers.
This is one of the things I like about Twitter. On other social networking sites you have friends. With Twitter, you have followers. Cool. (Even better would be "acolytes," or "fawning admirers.")
Don't worry about whether there is any good reason to do this. There isn't. Remember the mantra: uselessness. Gaining a follower will make me feel better, and it won't make you feel worse.
Otherwise, I'm not promising much from this whole Twitter thing. Basically, it's fun -- another opportunity for me to play with my iPhone.
It's a kick to be able to take a photo and easily have Tweetie upload a compressed version to Twitpic, and embed a URL in my tweet. I also like watching the 140 character counter count down as I one-finger type an iPhone tweet, putting a stopper on my usual writing verbosity.
Since ego-loss isn't one of my personality characteristics, I've done some research into how to gain Twitter followers.
Given that I have no idea what purpose Twitter serves in the cosmic scheme of things, it was encouraging to read:
First off, Paris Hilton is my second cousin. Seemingly this should gain me some reflected Twitter glory. OK, not much. But since I have zero followers at the moment, my Twitter trajectory can only go up.
Second, I've written a best-selling book about Plotinus. Granted, it is only "best-selling" in comparison to other books about a Greek mystic philosopher hardly anybody has heard about. But there's got to be some author-groupies who would be delighted to find a tweet from me sailing onto their cell phones.
Third, I'm a blogger. So I'm hoping that at least a few of those who visit my HinesSight and Church of the Churchless blogs will take pity on my follower-less soul and click on that Follow button.
I promise to tweet some family dog photos. And when I next see my granddaughter, for sure some super-cute two year old photos.
Along with a whole lot of uselessness -- the main draw for Twitter followers.