Friday, July 31, 2015

Ten Thousand Tweets

Was noticing over the last several weeks that the total for the number of tweets I’ve sent from @hardboiledpoker was approaching 10,000. Today I got there, with the tweet I sent to announce this post being the one.

It actually has taken me a while finally to reach that milestone after first noticing I was getting close. It took me a little over a month to get from 9,900 to 10,000 tweets. I first opened my Twitter account on April 9, 2009. That was 2,304 days ago which means I’ve been averaging sending out a little over four tweets per day over the last six years-plus.

Went back today to find my first tweet, pictured above. You can see before I even get to the end of that one how I’m distracted by the medium itself, self-reflexively counting down the characters at the end.

Seeing my reference to an article about Twitter by Otis (Brad Willis), I was curious to track it down once more. I headed over to Rapid Eye Reality, the blog Brad started way, way back in 2001 (about five years before I began Hard-Boiled Poker), and found his post dated April 9, 2009 titled “Much Atwitter About Nothing.”

He begins engagingly -- as he always does -- suggesting “Twitter is the Keanu Reeves of the internet.” Then he proceeds to list by category those who were then complaining about Twitter:

  • Advertising and branding people who can’t figure out if it’s important
  • Hipsters who have to hate anything a lot of people like
  • Companies that feel like they have to use it but don’t know why
  • People who don’t know what a Twitter is and are afraid to put one in their pants
  • “My favorite criticisms,” Brad continues, “are those who use Twitter to talk bad about Twitter,” following that with a list of examples I won’t cut-and-paste here, because you’ve been reading the same kinds of statements about Twitter on your feed for the last six-plus years, too.

    “As far as I’m concerned,” Brad says, “you’re better off wringing your hands about Keanu Reeves.” That is to say, in his estimation, Twitter was hardly something to get too worked up over. Sure, like Reeves (then), it was a conspicuous part of our cultural landscape, something hard to avoid if you wanted to. That said, it was (at least then) something more or less innocuous -- an occasionally entertaining diversion.

    “I use Twitter the same as I use the blog,” he concludes. “It’s a way to communicate. If you’re in the business of communication, you should know Twitter. If you don’t, you’re behind.”

    I feel like over the years I’ve mostly thought of Twitter in a similar way, simply viewing it (and using it) as another way to communicate, although I’ve always been more inclined to express opinions here on the blog than over there. Even though I agree Twitter is real, actual communication, it still feels ephemeral to me, despite the fact that I can search back through all 10,000 of my tweets if I wish, as well as the tweets of others. And while I generally like Twitter, I do sometimes experience a kind of Twitter weariness such as I was describing a few months ago in “Time for a Twitter Break?

    If you’ve read any of those 10,000 tweets of mine and looked at the photos and other silliness I’ve broadcast there, you’ve perhaps gotten to know me a bit, much as have those who’ve read what I’ve been posting on this blog over the years. And if that’s the case, thanks for following and responding and communicating with me along the way.

    See you on Twitter, then. And definitely not on Facebook. Speaking of, the occasion of tweet #10,000 is reminding me of tweet #5,000 (pictured at left).

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