Twitter. It’s wildly popular among the young folks, and it’s a little scary and off-putting for those of us who are old enough to remember newspapers.
Old people (meaning people over 25) are typically averse to trying out Twitter for one or more of the following reasons:
- 140 characters doesn’t seem like enough space to say anything of value.
- Stupid terminology, like “Tweets” and “Re-Tweeting”
- It’s probably just a passing fad — the MySpace or Friendster of 2009
- Too many people post inane, uninteresting details of their personal lives (“Snowing again! I feel like waffles!”)
But we can make Twitter work for us. Following our glimpse into the polluted mind of Heidi Montag, and our in-depth spring training report through the Twitter feeds of ballplayers, we now present this brief guide to using Twitter for seniors. Pop Culture Has AIDS — your number one source for explaining passing Internet fancies. (Coming next week — Deconstructing Lolcats to Better Understand our Crumbling Social Structure)
First, you needn’t actually post anything to use Twitter. Just sign up and follow some people. Twitter functions best as a replacement morning paper. You don’t have to follow your friends and learn exactly when and where they’re stuck in traffic. Instead, follow some celebrities, some writers, some comedians. When you log on to Twitter, you’ll read some jokes, get a few incisive comments about current events, and see some links to interesting columns. It’s like democracy — you don’t have to actually invest any effort in order to get something out of it.
And here’s a brief list of people it’s worth your time to follow:
1) Bill Simmons. If for no other reason than to watch him skirt the official ESPN social networking policy as much as possible, and to observe what he can get away with that a Peter Pascarelli or Eric Karabell never could.
Sample Tweet: One more idea for Bud Selig’s statue: Have him watching a blank TV screen that has the plaque, “The 1994 World Series.”
2) Roger Ebert. The sheer volume of Ebert’s output can be daunting, but it’s worth sorting through for links to new reviews, poetry, political commentary and a seemingly never-ending assortment of Internet curios that he digs up in his spare time.
Sample Tweet: GOP becoming a Religious Right organization. Goldwater: “If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.” http://j.mp/czqseJ
Sample Tweet: Best part of every Idol episode is the giant tub of chocolate icing you use to write I AM BECOME DEATH all over your torso before watching.
4) Sarah Silverman. The form suits her perfectly. She’s like a filthy, female Steven Wright.
Sample Tweet: Does Magnum’s mustache smell like pussy or does pussy smell like Magnum’s moustache?
5) Tom Hanks. Only because he signs every Tweet “Hanx.”
Sample Tweet: Pacific premiere at the Chinese. Extra last? No . Best. Hanx
6) Peter King. How can you resist? If you thought Monday Morning Quarterback was stream-of-consciousness, and offered lay opinions on a myriad of topics, wait until you get a load of this. Plus, you get to watch him get ornery in the face of Deadspin-style sarcasm and criticism.
Sample Tweet: Fired up for first Kings game tonight at Staples Center. Watching ski-jumping now. How do those guys jump out the equiv of a 14-story bldg?
7) Tim Goodman. One of the country’s best television critics posts links to his writing and a variety of opinions on the state of current TV.
Sample Tweet: CW sends out “OMG Moment of the Week” emails. Mine: That they would think I’d care.
Sample Tweet: “I Slinged One Too Many Guns: The Brett Favre Story,” by Brett Favre with Rick Reilly.
9) Old Hoss Radbourn. I originally feared this would be one unfunny joke repeated ad nauseum, but Old Hoss is surprisingly sabermetrics-friendly and has a very modern sense of humor for someone his age.
Sample Tweet: A. Soriano feels his knee is “stronger.” Stronger than what? My sinewless undead knee is stronger than his. And has better plate discipline.
10) David Lynch. Because of the incongruous idea of Lynch sitting at his computer or typing on his iPhone. Also, it’s fucking David Lynch — do you really need a reason?
Sample Tweet: Dear Twitterers, How was your weekend? I cut two pieces of Douglas Fir &fashioned them for a small cabinet. Sorry I’ve been away.