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Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm a Twit-wit

I have been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the latest social networking fad. I’m Tweeting.

Once upon a time, I was completely on board with the social networking craze. I was a regular AOL Instant Messenger. I had a MySpace page.

But it was that MySpace page that eventually led to me becoming something of a cyber recluse in recent years. One too many times, I wanted to check my e-mail, only to be inundated with friend requests from girls named Cami, Tiffani and other names ending ending in “i”, all wanting me to check out their Web cams. Over and over and over.

No thanks, ladies.

I gave up on MySpace and haven’t gone back. I’ve been told by friends that Facebook is a much less seedy place to be, and maybe someday I’ll join. In the meantime, I decided to dip my toe in the water by opening up a Twitter account.

Two things led to this: 1. My favorite columnist, Bill Simmons of, finally caved and joined. I was curious to see how he would use a medium he had, to that point, been very much against. 2. I signed up for a cell phone plan that gave me unlimited text messaging. It was like I had been given a pass to fall right off the wagon, 140 characters at a time.

One week into my Twitter experience, I’m enjoying it thoroughly. Only a few of my friends are using it right now, so I’m not sending out too many messages, but I’ve found that “following” celebrities can be oddly addictive. In addition to my buddies and Simmons, I’m now getting updates from the likes of actors like Jason Segel, Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Banks, and other celebs of varying degrees of fame, like Joel McHale, Conan O’Brien and Chris Jericho.

But nothing thus far has topped my experience with one Carson Daly. Last Sunday morning, I started sifting through celebrity pages, looking for people who post interesting things. Since I don’t have Internet access on my phone, I wasn’t particularly interested in people who post nothing but links. I prefer celebs who put up the mundane, everyday stuff a lot of other people avoid. Daly had all sorts of fun, random observations. Sign me up.

But here’s what I didn’t bank on: Mr. Daly wants to follow people who post random stuff too. Just how serious is he about it? A couple hours after adding him to my “following” list, I received the following Twitter message on my cell when I was out to breakfast:

jst realizd I'm lame. Why follw celebs I dnt care about? Ur at bambzl'd,derby,vegas fight,strip- I get it. Gnna spnd 2day follwg norml ppl.

A couple hours later, I came home and checked my e-mail. I had an alert that I had my first follower. Oooh, who could it be? Try @carsonjdaly.

Apparently, I qualify as norml ppl who are worth follwg.

OMG, rite?!

So, my random musings this week about how awesome LeBron and the Cavs are and what I’ve been working on in the office are being picked up by, among others, the host of “Last Call." Ain’t technology grand?

Hold that thought, actually. Yes, technology is grand, but I’ve also quickly learned this week that it isn’t always reliable. Several times, messages quit being delivered to my phone for no apparent reason. Of course, I didn’t realize I wasn’t getting messages until hours later when I went online at my house. Not cool. I’ve also heard about people struggling with searches for friends and such.

It’s not a perfect system, but it’s a lot of fun. I think I’m going to stick with Twitter for a while. Facebook, on the other hand, will have to wait for another day.

- Tom Valentino /


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