Twitter is tipping. Tipping as in Tipping Point.
And I know some people reading this still don’t know what Twitter is.
I didn’t know either when I started blogging and my first internet friend recommended I join Twitter. It was so completely confusing I had no idea what it was or what to do with it. So I kept my distance for months.
But now I’ve learned to Twitter. And I’m guessing that people my age just discovering Facebook will learn to Twitter, too. I think it’s reached a tipping point—when Ashton Kutcher(Twitter name: @aplusk) and I (@DarryleP) are on the same page. Virtually speaking.
Sunday we both happened to post the same video showing how fast the world is changing. And it’s changed even more since.
Last night, Ashton invited me and 144,000 other people to a private party after the Oscars at their home. Well… we weren’t at the party itself. We were in the kitchen on video with Demi (@MrsKutcher). We could hear the music. We could see Ashton holding the Oscar won by Penelope Cruz. Before the party Demi even modeled her outfit.
Maybe someday Ashton and Demi will be considered pioneers—at the pinnacle of the tipping point.
Twitter isn’t tipping because Ashton and Demi took us in their back door. Or because @LanceArmstrong used Twitter when he realized his bike was stolen. It’s tipping because all of this is being covered–and Twittered—in other places. By ABC commentators on the Oscar red carpet. By the New York Times. By the nation’s top law schools. @Harvard_Law on Twitter? What is this world coming to?
You can see why Twitter is good for Ashton and Demi. They can circumvent the tabloids and communicate directly with their fans. It’s also good because after seeing their videos and casual snapshots, it turns out that Demi looks just as gorgeous without makeup.
But what about the rest of us? Do you want to be on Twitter if you don’t care about Ashton and Demi’s party or what is going on with Shaq or @Jane Fonda, who discussed Twitter on The View and Twittered about it afterwards?
Most of Twitter is not as glamorous as Ashton and Demi’s bedroom in Beverly Hills. You’re in other places like Des Moines and Manchester and Cleveland. Anywhere. With anyone. You are there to listen and to learn and to laugh. All in 140 characters.
I hesitate to explain this part because it makes Twitter—and me—sound even more shallow and superficial than we already are. On Twitter you express yourself in 140 characters. That’s it. Your 140 characters enter the vast Twitter-verse where words fly by in a mad jumble—as if someone mixed together fleeting thoughts from thousands of brains and released them in one huge stream of consciousness all at once. In fact, your own list of tweets, (whatever you can say in 140 characters) is known as your Twitter stream.
Here’s a minuscule sample of what could float by—all pasted directly from Twitter without names (so I don’t lose followers):
***”Our knowledge is the amassed thought and experience of innumerable minds.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
***I am sitting here with popcorn in between my teeth.
***Getting ready to grill some pork chops and wash the dishes.
***If you had to eat an off-road dumptruck full of french fries in order to save your city from disaster, how would you want the fries cut?
***Just almost choked to death on my own spit.
Plus news reports and links and product promotions and contests and an endless array of eclectic stuff I couldn’t begin to describe. And somehow it all works–as long as you can pick out choice nuggets and avoid addiction. I’ve made contacts and—dare I say this?—friends—on Twitter. Although I haven’t yet attended a Tweet-up (place to meet other Twitterers) which are held regularly all over the country.
More than anything else, Twitter reminds me of high school. Maybe because of the unfortunate word Twitter chose to represent your contacts: followers. How much more like high school can you get? Same risk of rejection. Same pressure to be popular. Same sinking feeling when you say “hi” to someone you pass in the hallway…and they ignore you.
Still Twitter has it over high school in a couple ways. The coolest kids aren’t the jocks; but the geeks. And if you enroll and then stick around long enough, you discover that people are really helpful and friendly at Twitter High. Click here to find me there. I promise to say “hi” when we pass in the hallway.