When Twitter first “happened,” I was unimpressed. So much so that, in my curmudgeonly way, I announced that I would not use twitter.
And now there’s Twitter. It’s a horrible name, but it probably plays better with younger folks (the type of people who rarely use the word “folks”). I heard of Twitter, but didn’t have the slightest clue what it was. Kevin O’Keefe has cleared this up for me. I feel so on top of technology today.
I was so above it all. And I was wrong, as soon became obvious.
When first I was told of twitter, I scoffed. Obviously, it was for people whose thoughts fit within 140 characters. I meant that in a pejorative way. You wouldn’t find me on twitter. That was a few thousand twits ago.
Yet, there has been one thing I’ve steadfastly refused to do. I would not call a twit a tweet. In the beginning, there was a Twitter language craze, where people were called tweeple. I was not going to succumb to this infantile idiocy. If they wanted the thing you do on Twitter to be called “tweets,” they should have named it Tweeter. They didn’t.
So I called them twits, and have ever since. It’s been kinda funny as people have gone through the effort of leaving comments for no better purpose than to teach me that I was using the wrong word. Some even informed me they could not bear to read my posts because of the word “twit,” and would never do so again. “Hah,” they said. “Hah,” I replied.
Yesterday, I was having an email discussion with an over-educated journalist who, in the course of many other issues, made a point to me:
I don’t think you’re ever going to win that battle on tweet/twit by the way. Ship has sailed, so you just look more and more out of touch as the years go by…
My initial reaction was what one might expect. So what? Who cares? But his words sunk in. The joke was funnier in the beginning, when the question of whether Twitter was for real or not was still on the table. Now that it’s well past its infancy, is the joke still funny? Is it still a joke, or is the joke itself something that makes me “look more and more out of touch”?
To the extent it impairs a reading of my posts here, by distracting the reader and, for those unfamiliar with my joking ways or inclined to believe that I’m a total asshole, confirms their belief that any view that doesn’t confirm theirs can be immediately dismissed, perhaps my steadfast use of “twit” is a poor choice.
Sure, sticking with twit all these years has been fun, like an inside joke should be, but the problem with inside jokes is that they’re inside. Too many readers won’t get it, and will assume that I am that out of touch. If there is any hope of conveying an idea that may plant a seed in someone’s head, then doing something to relieve them of the burden of thinking is counterproductive.
I decided that my persistence in using the word “twit” in lieu of the offensive “tweet” has become counterproductive.
The decision pains me. I feel like a quitter, and I am no quitter. But I am also not that much of a moron that I can’t see the point of letting go. For those of you who understand what I’m trying to say, why I’m doing what I’m doing, please do me the courtesy of using twit whenever it suits you, and read “twit” on these pages when the actual letters spell out something else. If you do, I will be deeply appreciative.
As for me, I will henceforth use the word tweet. Every time I do, I will shed a tear, knowing that I have given up. But the time has come to let it go.
Update: The reaction to my reluctant change has been surprising. Between here, twitter and some harshly worded emails, it appears that many people not only prefer that I continue to use twit, but would be fairly disappointed in me for caving in to popular pressure.
One person pointed out, however, that having posted this, and made a commitment even if reflects a poor choice, it’s hard to go back.
You’d be a real doofus to pivot again.
Indeed, I would. Then again, I’ve been called far, far worse, and deserved it. So you know what? I’m pivoting again, the twit lives and I am a doofus. THE TWIT LIVES!