He rocks in the tree-tops all day long
Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-singin’ this song
All the little birds on Jaybird Street
Love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet. - Leon René, “Rockin’ Robin”
I’m not a Luddite by any stretch of the imagination; I have nothing against new technology when it offers a definite advantage over the old. But I also believe in the adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and I refuse to run out and buy or try every new craze simply because it’s new. I’m perfectly happy with paper books, and I don’t see any pressing need to replace my CDs and DVDs with “files” in a player. My computer components are connected to one another by wires, and my cell phone is just a phone; when we switched carriers in 2008 and I was forced to give up the old Nextel phone I had used since 2001, the (extremely young) sales people acted like I had plopped an old candlestick telephone on the counter. And my car…as Kelly Michaels can attest, the youngest part of it was designed in 1972. If I’m comfortable with something the way it is, I’m simply not interested in replacing it, and I’m not likely to try new technology unless it fulfills some need of mine.
That’s why up until recently, I never bothered with Twitter; I couldn’t see a real use for it, and as my readers may suspect the idea of limiting myself to 140 characters fills me with a sort of vague horror. As I said in “Extra, Extra!”:
I run this blog much more like a newspaper than like a TV broadcast; that is, I don’t generally worry too much about getting there “first with the most”, but rather on examining a story through the lens of harlotry. In other words, The Honest Courtesan may not be the first place you encounter a new story, but you probably won’t encounter my spin on that story in many other places.
However, there are times when I urgently want to call my readers’ attention to something, such as an online article whose comment thread has been invaded by prohibitionists in need of immediate countering. At other times, there are items I really don’t feel a need to write about, but still would like to call attention to. And then there are the articles which capture my attention and may interest some of my readers, yet don’t fit the format of my blog. A few months ago, I realized that Twitter would provide a useful way of calling attention to all of these things, but I just couldn’t get motivated to drag myself over to Twitter.com to figure it out. Then around Yule regular reader Amazing Susan convinced me to take the leap, and showed me how to sign up; I started “tweeting” on December 23rd and a few of you may have noticed the new “Maggie on Twitter” box on the right. But if you didn’t, and you’d like to receive “tweets” from me, you can click on this link to “follow” me. Don’t worry, I’m not going to flood you with inane “status reports” about what I had for breakfast or cute things my cat just did; I set up WordPress to send out an automatic “tweet” when my column posts every morning, and other than that most of what I’ve done with it so far (and most of what I’m likely to do in the future) is to “retweet” stuff I find interesting or post links to stories as I mentioned above. Once I get a lot of followers I’ll probably use it to mobilize comment campaigns against those who spread disinformation as well, and even now I’ll call attention to such opportunities when they arise.
So, there you have it; I’ve just taken one more baby step into the 21st century. Don’t worry about my getting carried away, though; I’m not going to buy a plasma TV until they’re cheap and my old (c. 2000) set goes kaput. And I’ve seen enough of my husband’s iPhone to conclude that it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.
One Year Ago Today
“Acting and Activism” discusses empty-headed celebrity activists and describes the rude, ignorant and childish behavior of Mira Sorvino toward Laura Agustín. Incidentally, the column contains my very first mention of Ashton Kutcher, who repeatedly made a fool of himself so many times last year.