I am new to Twitter.
I have read much about it (140 characters - got it) observed it's many interesting effects on global events (#arabspring) and was made aware today that Twitter has now converted the US to universally accept the word "hash" as opposed to "pound" to describe that little symbol that looks like a noughts and crosses grid - #.
The reason I recently waded in to the twitter pond was unashamedly political. Senator Scott Ludlam, the Greens candidate who is up for re-election in the WA senate by-election next weekend, is a hero of mine and of most politically sensitive Gen Y people I know. He 'gets' Twitter, and Facebook, and new media and well, he is killing it in the social media universe right now. At least the ones I know about.
Senator Ludlam made a freaking awesome speech to Parliament a little while ago. Shame on you if you do not know what I am talking about - shame on me if I do not direct you to where you can find this speech. The speech has been viewed over 800 thousand times on YouTube. Senator Ludlam and his excellent media savvy advisers have cleverly decided to capitalise on it's popularity and make a better film clip starring all his supporters, a la the Bob Dylan film clip with all the signs. See here: ourspeech.com.au
I wanted to be in on this. I particularly wanted to be the one holding the sign that said "Game On Prime Minister." Not just because it's a cool line in a cool speech, but because I remember that Julia Gillard said this to Tony Abbott, albeit without the Prime Minister part, when she first took over from K-Rudd. I remember thinking "Hell yeh to a real challenge! Hell yeah bring your worst!" Sadly, Abbott became PM a few short years later, mostly due to K-Rudd's reemergence and the Labor party's inability to stop itself imploding.
I still like the line though.
To participate, I needed a Twitter account. I managed to take a selfie with the slogan and upload it to Twitter. I am a digital native after all. But what I didn't get, after successfully tweeting from my fresh new account, is how to really use Twitter.
I am thinking it's a tool for me to participate in things I like - such as Senator Ludlam's campaign. I can follow people too - but then my family will attest I have never really been much of a follower, ever. I found a link to the tweets of Rupert Murdoch - I think I will be scarred for life. I bobbed around on the surface of my tiny little Twitter account for 15 minutes or so and then posted "I don't get Twitter #help" on Facebook. Knowns and unknowns people, knowns and unknowns.
The truth is I like the long version of just about anything, and to me, Twitter is just a bombastic amount of little tiny thoughts all vying for my attention at the same time. Eeee! My brain felt like it was unintentionally eavesdropping on the entire world. Like when you are on a plane and the two people next to you are having a deep and meaningful and you can't HELP but hear what they are saying because you can't sleep and forgot to bring headphones.
I am sure my trepidation will mature in time; I am certainly no early adopter, but right now, if I've got something to say, I like more than 140 characters to explain myself, thank you very much.
My next post will undoubtedly be a monologue on complexity versus simplicity, once I have finished and absorbed the very excellent The Brain in Wider than the Sky by Bryan Appleyard (bought yesterday). The book explores, among other things, the relationship between the rise of 21st communication mediums that seek to simplify our existences and the diminishing ability for individuals to absorb and construct complex ideas. Fascinating.
See you then.