Brace yourself Twittersphere, there’s a new tweep in town

As someone who considers himself on the cutting edge of technology, I recently began using a website known as Twitter. Have you heard of it?

I’ve spent my entire life missing out completely on trends  — MySpace, The Thong Song, OxyContin — so my late arrival to the still-flourishing site has been a real revelation (the good kind, not the end-times, Rick Santorum kind).

Well, my stars. Twitter is like a million sites combined!

It’s a sports site that lets me learn about false hockey trades from teenagers who have no higher goal in life than to pose as Bob McKenzie.

It’s a journalism site that allows me to read a breaking news headline 87 times in rapid succession.

It’s an entertainment site that has me waiting on pins and needles for that Charlie Sheen pocket tweet which will let me know once and for all that he has collapsed and died.

And it’s a community.

The site is positively packed with tweeters who will take the time out of their busy day to insult strangers they disagree with when they could have simply moved on. It’s rare to see people go the extra mile like that.

I myself have about 50 followers as I write this and — here’s the exciting part — 43 of them I have never met before because they are too busy with their adult-entertainment business. As soon as I joined, I was swarmed with new friends with names like Sexy McXXX and Sarah TryMyWebsite!, which I assume is Polish.

With its intrinsic goal of adding as many followers as possible, Twitter is a bit of a drug. The notifications button on Facebook is only a mild buzz compared to the straight-heroin injection of getting new Twitter followers.

I never dream about work, but the first day I started using Twitter I dreamt about it. Specifically, I dreamt I was super-excited because Lenny from The Simpsons followed me.

Here’s the honest truth: I find the site oddly intimidating. Because, unlike Facebook, which pushes everyone toward a sort of echo-chamber conformity, Twitter is really whatever you make it.

It can be a huge knowledge resource, an insight into the famous and powerful, and a promotional tool. Or it can be a site that you use for cheap factoids, a reality-TV buzz and to avoid working.

So will I be a Twitterati or just a Twit? I’ll be following myself with interest.



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