I guess it happens to all bloggers who are fans of Twitter. Sooner or later, we have to blog about the social network that challenges you to answer the question What are you doing? in 140 characters or fewer.
I tried MySpace for a week. I skipped Facebook altogether. I signed up for Twitter because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. Now I know.
And I still like it. I didn't think I would, but I do.
I get news by following my local newscasters and my national favorites. Often Twitter is the first place breaking news is discussed, and being able to tweet pundits and reporters makes the news interactive. People in trouble post amazing video. People fighting for freedom in far-off countries update us on their progress.
I learn about my city by following local go-getters and councilwomen and people who work where I work. I follow Governor Sarah Palin because she tweets hilarious things such as, "Mama bear's gutteral raw instinct" and "constant thumped-up ethics charges." Poor Sarah. A script would help her a lot, and I hope she finds one that's been well written by someone else.
I send a link when I update my blog, and some people who follow me go and read it; sometimes they even send a tweet of encouragement or tell me a story (very short) of their own experience. I've "met" numerous people that way.
Just recently two artists in my special group collaborated at lightning speed. @AuntiePrincess, one funny broad, tweeted one of her smart mouth but so true sayings. @crookedstamper shot back that she'd like to make a card using the sentiment. Auntie agreed. The next day, @crookedstamper has the card up on her blog. We all felt a part of it.
I make friends, and that's the part I like the most. Oh, sure, they aren't like face to face friends you meet in real life; they're much less annoying. By trial and error, following and listening, I've built a little community of people I like. A collection of minds who entertain or inform me. People who tweet about politics, and those who talk about art, and those who scour the internet for interesting visual delights.
And now we come to unfollowing. I've been in trouble for this. I really don't understand it; I feel that if we are entering into a twittery relationship, either of us has the right to discontinue it at any time for any reason. We're not married. I do not believe my unfollowing you gives you the right to demand a reason. But some do.
I'm a Gemini. Maybe my attitude is just a little too airy for some of you. I come and go. I change my mind. I like to take an independent approach. I unfollow people who bore me or offend me or make me angry, and I don't know why you don't do the same.
I've been told that I should follow back everyone who follows me. Now, why would I do that? I am not competing in a popularity contest, so I don't care about the numbers of people who follow me or whom I follow. I twitter because I find it enjoyable to cast a net and surprise myself with what I uncover. People can be very interesting. If they aren't, that's the reason for the unfollow button.
Following are my tweet peeves, the reasons I'll unfollow/not follow you:
Tweeting in all caps. I don't care if your name is Kirstie Alley. It's annoying.
Talking about Jesus. No argument. We're just not for each other.
Asking me to vote for any part of your body for any reason.
Tweeting only about the products you want me to buy. If your tweet stream looks like this:
Sold and relisted...
Sold and relisted...
I'm probably not following you anyway. Throw in something of value. Like an opinion. If you don't have an opinion, maybe you can re-tweet someone who does.
Using the term "I likey" or "me likey." Come on. If I already know you and love you, I will sigh and overlook that one, but it's not English and I am not amused.
Claiming to be doing something you can't possibly be doing while tweeting. Like changing a dirty diaper.
Squealing about how many followers you have, or asking for a few new ones to make a particularly significant (to you) number.
Sharing anything about bowel movements. Anything.
Not bothering to use a photo. If I see that little brown square that looks like a bag you'd wear over your head, I'm not following. Well, okay. A few relatives.
Never tweeting. What's the point?
Becoming tiresomely dramatic or overly quarrelsome. It's a social network, and I don't enjoy constant bitching. Except about politics.
Showing a photo of the meal you're about to eat. Unless it is the most beautiful arrangement I've ever seen. Or you are @understandblue and it's the Fourth of July and you have artfully arranged your hotdogs.
Advising me to go to your blog without including a link. I don't have time to look it up.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is to report on my Twitter experience. I am not trying to convince you to take it up, because it is not for everyone. I know bunches of people who think it sounds stupid or who tried it and didn't like it, and that's okay with me.
Okay. About those hairless cats from yesterday. A lot of people were interested. Some found them creepy; some thought they were cute. (I'm in the latter group.) Because of the questions, I read more about them. These cats are called Canadian Sphinx cats. Tristan pointed out that they look like gargoyles (forgive me, Tristan, if that's not what you meant), and now I can't stop thinking that.
One thing I found absolutely heinous is that people in Moscow have these cats tattooed. Yes, needle and buzz, tattooed. I have been tattooed, and it is not really all that pleasant. I do not know how they would subdue the poor animal for several hours so they can do something that unnatural to a cat who already looks like it comes from another planet. I am not going to show you a photo of these "designer cats" I am so outraged about, although you can find them yourself online if you want.
Yes, Irene, you are right about them being very sensitive to temperatures. They need clothing when they go outside because not only can they easily catch a cold, but they also sunburn. They do have a little coat of peachfuzz, but not enough to protect them. Their skin is said to feel like velvet. They need to be bathed a couple of times a month to keep their skin healthy.