Oh, Twitter, how I tried to avoid you. I wanted to despise all of your micro-updates, the many Tweets that flitter across computer screens and cell phones. I did not need another time-suck in my life. Episodes of The Good Wife and Modern Family are calling me from my DVR box. The white kitchen floor has turned grey from the multitude of dirty shoes that have shuffled across it. New Yorkers are piling up by my bedside. I already belong to Facebook. Don’t you know I have a 19-month old son who climbs furniture and jumps?
But my class’s instructor said you were fabulous and asked me to get acquainted with you. So I opened an account. I chose a nondescript handle and password two days ago. Next, I tweaked my profile, posting a link to my blog and a photo of myself.
I poked around tentatively at first, only seeking out some the bloggers I follow regularly like Dooce, Girls Gone Child and Amalah. Holding my arrow cursor over the plus symbol, I added each of them to my feed. Fifteen minutes in, I was following more than a dozen Tweeters.
Taking you for a twirl, my fingers tap-danced along the keyboard, keying in the names of my favorite celebrities, writers and friends. All of my interests were coming alive in 140 characters or less. I consider our first date a success!
A few hours later, my cell phone dinged. I glanced down to see the Twitter icon – a boxed blue “t” – among my email messages. (Oh, you text right away!) And next to that icon was a name I didn’t recognize, but he was now following my Tweets.
My eyes narrowed and I recoiled in my kitchen chair. I want to be able to approve who gains access to my feeds. While my other relationship - Facebook - may have all sorts of pitfalls in security, at least I can have the final say on who can access my photos and updates.
Not with you, Twitter. That text was just another reminder that I shouldn’t be exposing everything to you. I need to show restraint, even though I’m tempted to divulge the minutia of my daily life. I can hear my mother’s voice: "Relationships need mystery!"
Since our first encounter, we’ve had a few dates. I’m considering the possibilities of going steady with you: a way to broadcast my freelance writing business; a new avenue to network; a stream of live news snippets; adult commentary when I’ve been alone with the baby all day; a hearty laugh.
So, Twitter, I’m enjoying getting to know you, but I’m not in love with you. Not yet. I’m not ready to make any long-term commitments to keep Tweeting after my class ends. But I may keep in touch with you. Some Tweets are just too good to resist.