A Reluctant Tweeter

- by Curtiss Ann

chin-up-honeyI attempted to explain Twitter to my dear husband. His eyes glazed over, and I gave up, but the topic brought on memories of my initial entry into the world of cyber social communications.

There is, in the way the mind holds on to small things, a moment I still recall from back in the early nineties at the bustling Atlanta airport. I was returning from a writers’ conference, when a writer friend called to me as she hurried away to her departure gate, “Get on e-mail!”

All during the conference that year, people had been talking about e-mail, asking, “Aren’t you on e-mail? You have to get on e-mail.”

 I wanted nothing to do with it. It seemed like one more thing to learn and do, another distraction from my real job as a writer. I am deeply introverted and highly sensitive to distractions. I may be one of a total of five people in the world now who actually pays for Yahoo Mail to avoid those annoying flashing ads that tell me to get wrinkles repaired or to have my credit checked.

Back when the World Wide Web was coming on like gangbusters, I was trying to meet at least the vicinity of my deadlines, raise a teenager, slip in a modicum of a relationship with a spouse, and build a home in the country.

When I say country, I mean a place fifteen miles from the nearest grocery store and so remote that after we were already in the midst of moving there, we received the alarming news that we might not even be able to have a phone. Thankfully we got one by granting the phone company easement across our land. I wondered if e-mail could even reach me.

Yes, it could, and some months after the conference I did get e-mail, in the same way that everyone in the country eventually got electricity and indoor plumbing. And in the same way as those conveniences, I now could no longer do without e-mail, nor my website, the ability to research world knowledge, cyber newsletters, various online groups, and, in the last year, blogging.

Then, last fall, along came a close friend urging me to join Twitter.

I said, and I may have rolled my eyes, “Oh, the websites give me the hives…I don’t understand a bit of it…it’ll be one more thing to do.”

Of course, my attention now piqued, I saw Twitter all over the place. And there is something about that word: Twitter.

Two weeks ago, I called my friend and said, “Okay. Show me. I want to Twitter.”

“That’s Tweet,” she said.

Once started, so thoroughly did I embrace Twitter that within the week I went on to join two more social networking sites, as well as learned to ping.

I really do find Twitter the most marvelous of all the cyber communications. Simple, quick, keeping in touch, yet no pressing need to reply. If you have not tried it, do.

Admitting to the obvious, I have learned the value of  modern social communications. I keep in touch with family and friends in a way not possible fifteen years ago, meet people I would not otherwise have met, and can look up anything I want to know in a matter of minutes. All of this enriches my life beyond measure in a manner especially suited for my career as a writer, my rural home, and as an introverted soul, who gets to enjoy staying right where she is and be out in the world at the same time. (There are even blogging parties, and no need to dress.)

However, what really struck me this morning, after sending and reading Tweets on my iPhone, was the deliriously happy thought that I’m likely set for another five to six years before I am faced with learning another bit of cyber communication.

Yes, I know there is Facebook, AIM, Google Talk, etc….but, honey, I am not going there. The websites give me the hives…I don’t understand a bit of it…and it’ll be just one more thing to do.



  1. Curtiss Ann, I completely understand your feelings. I consider myself “electronically challenged”, always the last to get on board with any new e-scene. I’ve dodged twitter and most of the social networks because they just seem to complicate my life more and more. Since you say it’s worth a try, though, one day (soon perhaps) I’ll jump in and give it a shot.

  2. CurtissAnn,

    Oh, dear. I belong to Facebook, but Tweeting bewilders me! (‘Course, I’ve never texted in my life….)

    I remember when web addresses first started cropping up. On TV commercials. On cereal boxes. Took me quite a while to figure out what all this “http” and “www” stuff was about! And THAT was around ’94.

    So, you may be slow … but you’re ahead of me!

  3. Have to say that I have never texted, either, don’t spend a lot of time on my cell phone, but now that you mention it, I guess email and Twitter are quite a lot like texting. :)

  4. That was so cute! I tweeted it for you. You go, Girl!~~Dee

  5. Just read Dee’s tweet ~ it is hard to explain Twitte rto other people. It was especially so when fewer people were using it. Good post!!

  6. EEEKKK! I, too, am TM illerate! Where do you find the text messaging symbols? I know MSN used to have them for IM on hotmail.

  7. Curtiss Ann, you make me feel like tweeting. And I never wanted to before. I only text when my college-age son makes me. He thinks it’s important that I know how to. I think…oh, please. Could you just call???

  8. I love Twitter too! I like to learn new things to help keep my brain active, and I joined Twitter and myspace and facebook, etc

    It took me a little while to realize I had to begin to “follow” people and organizations on Twitter in order to get their “tweets” and have soemthing to read besides what I was writing, but now I love to read all the little info tweets and go to the links in the messages. It really is quick and easy once you get started, and I’ve learned a lot, found a lot of nice blogs through it, and it’s fun to learn to say things in 140 spaces!


  9. You make a good case for twitter, Curtiss Ann. But I’m still trying to figure out a personal reason to do it. I know a reason to do facebook: I can keep up with my extended family who tend to post pix there but can’t be bothered to attach them to emails. One more thing to think about — maybe. Still, I’ll give it some thought.

  10. I am having a hard enough time carving out more time to blog so I will avoid Twitter for now. It is interesting to read people’s Twitters though.

    I also don’t know how to text and probably won’t until I buy a phone that makes it easy to text. I only have a basic phone with no qwerty keyboard. And I’m too cheap to pay extra for texting.

    Curtiss Ann, I wouldn’t count on being “set for another five to six years before I am faced with learning another bit of cyber communication.” Maybe two or three.


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