Evil Gal Productions

Mere Smith
is a recovering Southerner,
longtime TV writer,
author and blogger.
July 19th, 2011 by Mere Smith

An Eight-Ball of Twitter

Here’s the thing.

I’ve never tried cocaine or black beauties or Adderall or any of the other drugs that make you wide-eyed and jumpy and turn your mouth into a machine gun or make you scrub your bathroom floor until it’s so sterile you can deliver a baby on it.

But eight days ago I joined Twitter, and now…

My name is Mere, and I’m a raging fucking Twitterholic.

What fresh horror has sprung from Hell?

I think about Twitter all the time.  I log on the minute I sit down in the morning.  I check my Twitter account when I should be writing.  I check it when I’m having dinner.  I can’t help but wonder what’s happening on Twitter when I lie down to sleep.  I follow threads which are of absolutely no interest to me.  I click on links that lead me to diverting but ultimately useless pictures and videos (though the ones from @LadyGaga don’t count, as I would’ve spent more time searching out those videos than if they hadn’t been tweeted — so I guess that’s one upside — although I suppose cokeheads find the nosejobs they get when their septums eventually rot away a similar perk).  And thanks to the character limit, I spend more time composing a Twitter message than I did writing this blog entry.

140 characters has reduced me to words like “pic” and “tho,” and using ampersands when a perfectly serviceable “and” could be applied.  My prose has started to suffer, I feel dumber day by day, and I have nightmares about former English teachers beating me with unabridged versions of the OED for typing the words “thru” or “nite”.  Now, I realize certain fast-food restaurants have been using these — cough, what that pussy-book Merriam-Webster would call “variations,” cough — abominations of the language for much longer than I.  And I also realize that my uptight insistence on “proper English” has earned me the wrath of many a fellow Writer.  (“What difference does it make?” they whine.  And I reply, “If you had to have your left arm amputated, but the doctor just wrote down ‘an arm’ before the surgery — would that make a difference to you?”)

But once upon a time I was taught that there was a right way to write.  There were rules.  Spelling, grammar, composition.  Writing was the opposite of subjective — unless skewing it was part and parcel of the art you were trying to create.  Writing was objective, as objective as math — you weren’t allowed to estimate how to spell “gargantuan” — and writing was definitely almost four and a half times more important.

In my Twitter account, I follow 32 groups (for now), which fill up my… whatcha call it? timeline? Twitterfeed? syringe full of meth?… with hundreds of posts ranging from the mundane to the promotional, interrupted only occasionally by a personal message from someone I actually know — with an even smaller percentage of messages from someone I actually know addressed to actually me.  It’s like running around the Dead Letters Office in Purgatory with inflamed hemorrhoids looking for the one envelope with your name on it that has Preparation H inside.

Fucking insidious.  And itchy.

But the good news is, I can stop any time I want.

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