Okay, so since I’m now feeling on the cutting edge of technology (albeit two years late) with my new iPhone, I’m trying out Twitter. The first thing that happens when you register is that they tell you who else in your address book is on Twitter. Already this feels like some sort of Big Brother intrusion: how do they know who’s in my address book? Oh yes, it’s because I had to create a contacts list in Yahoo, because I’d still be on the “Bs” if I tried to type them directly into the phone, with my enormous thumb hitting all the wrong keys (the phone would have imported my Microsoft Outlook contacts – wait, I thought Microsoft and Apple didn’t get along! – but I refuse to use Microsoft Outlook for the same reason I refuse to use Explorer, and dislike Bing: because they’re Microsoft).
So then Twitter asked me if I wanted to follow those people. Well, I really didn’t want to know who they were having lunch with or what they were buying, but I said okay, just to see what would happen, and then I got a bunch of emails from my friends saying they were on Twitter but didn’t really use it but thanks for asking to follow them, which made me feel quite pleased with my selection of friends.
My son somehow got a picture of that airplane in the Hudson seconds after it happened, and I wanted to be like that too, shooting pictures of breaking news to all my non-Twitter-using friends, so when I saw an article in the Times about good Twitterers to follow, I signed up with a few. Susan Orlean, the New Yorker writer, was the first. I thought it might be fun to see what a writer’s life was like. My phone has a very annoying beep beep when a message comes through (I know I could change this, but with all these Twitter updates coming in I don’t have time), and as soon as I signed up with her I started finding out about her trip to LA and how she was looking forward to a milkshake or something stupid like that and then I realized I was the stupid one, because even a really good writer can’t write good writing in 140 characters. So it was END Susan Orlean, and those beeps stopped.
But now my problem is Mark Knoller, the CBS White House correspondent, whose tweets the Times described as “living with the Obamas 24/7,” and since I’m a sucker for the Obamas, watching all the slide shows of official White House pictures and even Oprah’s Christmas tour, I thought this might be a fun insider account. But just this morning I’ve gotten six annoying beeps in a row with 140 character summaries of the USA Today interview with James Jones, which I really could just go read myself, plus the inexplicable “In response to your many inquiries, I am not the celebrity stylist who gave Kate Gosselin her makeover.”
END Mark Knoller.
But how do I get instant pictures of miraculous plane landings, I’d like to know?