In Which Miss Plumcake Begs Someone To Explain Twitter

I’m a pretty tech savvy gal. I make my living on the internet. I can program a thermostat. I own a whole slew, possible two slews, of items that require AA batteries…so why do I feel like someone needs to hand me my ear trumpet and goiter ointment each time I attempt to understand Twitter?

I remember David Mitchell, the fantastic British comedian from Peep Show and a whole mess of hilarious radio panel games, explained why he didn’t like the little bluebird of chattiness: “I don’t like to give away jokes for free.”
Of course, at the moment the verified David Mitchell twitterfeed has just under 4000 tweets, but in his defense, almost none of them are funny.

Still, I understand the sentiment.

As I always say, I’m good at two things in the world, and writing’s the one I can charge for.

I don’t get paid for the @MissPlumcake Twitter account, nor do I for the MftBG Facebook page and let’s be honest here: I’ve only got so much wit and charm in me, if I use all of it without benefit of that gorgeous filthy lucre, I’m going to be living under a bridge eating the crumbs out of a homeless man’s beard and making fart jokes for a dime by the time I’m 35 because I used up all the funny 140 royalty-free characters at a time.

The protocol also confuses me.

There doesn’t seem to be an agreed-upon number of tweets a day that hits the magic spot of engaging the doofuses suggestible enough to follow me most wonderful and alluring people in the world, without turning them off via supersaturation or inanity.

I don’t want to be one of those people who only tweets for self-promotion, because those people are just Marketing Machines, and any machine that doesn’t make something cleaner, younger or less hairy when it’s done is not a machine for me.

On the other hand, there are the hyper-verbal tweeters and that results in the dreaded Live Blog. **shudder**

The Live Blog is something like Chinese Water Torture, but without the benefits of hydration, wherein someone decides to share the thrilling action of say, their cat taking a nap on the radiator AS IT UNFOLDS so when I log on to see what my pals have been doing I get three hundred posts from the same yahoo saying:

ZOMGLOL, Mister Mittens is totes sleeping on the radiator. So cute.
11:00 a.m.

Mister Mittens is the mayor of snugglebunny junction, here’s an instagram no one wants to see.
11:01 a.m.

I’m going to knit a sweater out of Mister Mittens’ ittie bittie kitteh hairs. Here’s a Ravelry pattern no self-respecting adult who has ever had sex or ever hopes to have sex in the future should ever admit to seeing, much less knowing about. Oh, and it probably has an owl. Or a moustache. Or an owl WITH a moustache. Jerks.

11:02 a.m.

MISTR MTTN STILL SLPN LOL.
11:03 a.m.

Random Stephen Fry retweet
11:04 a.m.

Viral video everyone saw two weeks ago. Probably ALSO involving kittens.
11:05 a.m.

OMFG MISTER MITTENS IS STILL ASLEEP #UKNOWURCATSASLEEPWHEN
11:06 a.m.

Sorry y’all, fail whale! Guess whoz still snorning?!
11:08 a.m.

And so on and so forth until my brain oozes out of my ears and leaves permanent stains on my brand new angora cardigan.

These people must be stopped. And the pathological retweeters, and the hot Bulgarian babes horny love for max gentlemans and dear GOD the knitters.

In conclusion, I’m going to keep tweeting, BUT I’M NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT.

…and you kids get offa my lawn!

20 Responses to “In Which Miss Plumcake Begs Someone To Explain Twitter”

  1. Orora December 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    Don’t piss off the knitters. We have two sharp sticks. You have two eyes. Coincidence? I think not.

  2. Madame Suggia December 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    As always, you are 100% correct.

    I do have a twitter account, just so I can sign up to other various things like pinterest.

    I also have a facebook account, but do I use it? No. Is it set to totally private? Yes. Again, I only use it if I need to sign up to things that (strangely) seem to only accept wretched twitter or facebook as proof of your existence.

    Just so we are clear, in the not-too-distant-past, we managed to function perfectly well without 24/7 updates from our nearest and dearest.

  3. shiny December 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Don’t give up! Besides, I don’t tweet all the bloody time. Your readers (well, this lurker anyway) are loyal, and value quality over quantity.

  4. Cat December 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    It took me awhile to get into Twitter, but I like it. It’s fun but it’s not something I feel I have to spend a ton of time on like Facebook would be (which is why I don’t use Facebook). If I feel like chatting or have something funny to share, or if I want to see what my friends are up to, I can log on and dive in without it being an enormous time-suck. And there are a lot of interesting and funny people to follow. I even got a blogging gig and an occasional guest-blogging gig through people I met on Twitter.

  5. daisyj December 12, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Well, if it helps, I came to this post via your link on twitter. Personally, I like it as a sort of pseudo-RSS for science news and people whose blogs I like/procrastination tool/place to share those things that seem awesomely witty at 2am and no one is around to hear them.
    .
    Anyone who feels their life is so fascinating that it must be shared in endless detail is probably too important to deal with me, so I do them the favor of unfollowing them.

  6. Melissa December 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Not entirely sure that I appreciate being compared to hot Bulgarian babes horny love for max gentlemans, but whatevs, I’ll take it. I like what you’re doing on Twitter – entertaining, not too little, not too much.

  7. Jezebella December 12, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    I had to break up with Twitter – it was either Twitter or Facebook, and I picked Facebook. Too much of a time-suck, too many links to follow, too many deadly boring tweets, etc. I find it’s useful for spreading political news of the non-mainstream variety, but on the whole it’s too distracting to have an endless stream of words coming at me.

  8. Leigh Ann December 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    I don’t understand it, either. I’m not THAT old! But I feel out of touch when I’m told by nearly everyone how relevant it is, and how necessary. Of course, I also have a hate/hate relationship with Facebook. I have an account, but seldom go there. Most of what is posted doesn’t seem very important, or even very interesting. I agree about the serial posters, the ones who feel a need to tell the world exactly what they’re doing every minute of the day. What’s up with that? Do they think very many people care?

    On the other hand, I like technology in general, and I like reading blogs as well, so I’m not a total misanthropic Luddite.

  9. Rebekka December 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    I dumped Twitter after someone live-blogged childbirth. I do FB though, but that’s mostly because I have lots of far-off friends and it DOES make it easier to stay in touch.

  10. Nanners December 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    I made an account a few weeks ago but feel like I can’t figure Twitter out either and I just don’t see the point of sending out random thoughts to the universe. I don’t do Facebook either but I can see why it exists.

    Only Ravelry for a cat sweater knitting spinster like me…

    Hoodie! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cat-hoodie

  11. Julie December 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Sounds like you need to quit Twitter. If you don’t like Twitter, then you don’t like Twitter (and, dare I say, there’s no need to dump on people who do?)
    .
    Grace Dent’s excellent and hilarious book “How to Leave Twitter” might shed some light on the issue though. It’s less than $6 on Kindle, and it’s at least $6 of funny, so tolle – lege, as they say.

  12. AnthroK8 December 12, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    I like Twitter, but I have a locked account and follow family as well as friends overseas that I miss chatting with and don’t see often. It’s like being at the pub, only not at the pub.

    I am not much of a follower of Famous People And Internet Personalities. I will check in on them now and again to see what’s what, but that’s about it.

    Thus, my feed isn’t tediously overwhelmed with tedium, and I don’t have to deal with promotion and marketing unless I want to dip in.

    Facebook makes me crazy.

  13. perletwo December 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    I mostly get the Twitter. It’s the Tumblr I don’t get.

    Also, seconding Orora. :D

  14. DEL December 12, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    I love Twitter for sports stuff. I follow sports journalists, a few players and coaches (not many), bloggers for my favorite teams, and so on. During games it’s a place to vent on bad officiating or commiserate on bad play or make happy sounds with your fellow fans across the country. This is especially good since I love college basketball and the team I love best is 2000 miles away.

  15. ChaChaHeels December 13, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    Isn’t Twitter supposed to be a marketing tool? If your “tweets” bring in revenue and you’d suffer economic hardship without it, great: tweet though you hate it. If it doesn’t, then why bother? Drop it and go do something pleasurable with your life.

  16. Thea December 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Diet Coke all over the monitor when I read the Stephen Fry reference. I consider him one of the lovely wits of our time, but Jeez he needs to back away from the Twitter feed at times

  17. Nikita December 14, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    I do not bother with Twitter or Facebook. Frankly, I just don’t care enough to read what someone thinks about everday. If I want to meet new people I get out with friends and we try something new. Technology is cool, but it is does not replace talking to a friend or hanging out with one. Technology often gives folks permission to be mean, unruly and to start e-beefs! How foolish. I have a Facebook acct that I open and close on the regular and yes, it is set to private. LOL.

  18. makeupmag December 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    *waves* Just followed you on Twitter so that I can keep up with your blog – I’m on Twitter the most often and find it easier to read blogs and articles via this platform. So look upon it as kindness to followers like me? :D

    Happy Hump Day!

  19. ZaftigWendy December 15, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    We knitters are taking over the WORLD!!!!

  20. Fata Morgana December 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    I think Twitter is one of those things that you can’t really ‘get’ until you start ‘hanging out’ there for a while, even if you only hang out to read tweets by interesting people.

    The pull, essentially, is that you are in one, huge conversation with the world. And every now and then you add a sentence to that conversation. The greatest thrill of all is when someone you admire or think is witty or brilliant replies to your tweet – then you REALLY feel like you’re part of the conversation.

    But aside from the ego part of it, just seeing different people who you adore having a conversation together where everyone can see it – that alone is golden. Seeing Adam Savage tweet John Hodgman and Wil Wheaton, then seeing Jonathan Coulton add something to that conversation, and then maybe Neil Gaiman makes a joke at all their expense; it’s so much fun! Of course, once I list all those names, you realize that Twitter is a playground primarily for nerds. None but a nerd is probably going to care what Felicia Day has to say to Kate Beaton. I am just such a nerd.