I resisted as long as I could. Honestly, I did.
When everyone told me, “Josh, you gotta get on Twitter! How can you be an artist and not be on there? How can you be an American? How can you live with yourself?!???,” I would merely wait 30 seconds until that person’s ever-shrinking attention span took over and they forgot what they were talking about.
I wasn’t necessarily anti-Twitter. Ok, maybe I was a little anti-Twitter. But my reasons were good, the same as most folks:
1) I didn’t need another account to check, another password to forget, another electronic distraction in my over-caffeinated day.
2) I already had a good channel of getting my news. It’s called: the rest of the Internet.
3) I’m on Facebook! Isn’t that sacrifice enough?
Of course not! I live in the Bay Area of all places. Out here, Google is God, Steve Jobs is/was/will always be Jesus, and your Bluetooth is a cross to bear with pride. There is no such thing as too much suffering.
The truth is, I see both sides of the technology debate.
I see the widening access to information…and I see the #Snooky-ification of our culture and political discourse.
I see the Arab Spring that was helped by Twitter, but despite the Western media myths, not caused by it.
I see my students in Oakland trading poems and politics with their peers in Arizona and Chicago and South Sudan…and I see them spending hours chatting, tweeting, and texting about Drake and Cee-Lo. (Who is the great rapper/singer of all time? Sorry, Drizzy, I got my money on Goodie Mob.)
In short, I see America in all of our beautiful contradictions. Egocentric and communal. Genius and garish. Isolated and terrified and amazed by it all.
So me joining Twitter is my way of saying: Yes. Me too. I want to connect. I want to spread a little wisdom and talk a lot of shit. I want to get instant updates at demonstrations and without corporate filter. And most importantly…the next time someone asks me if I’m on Twitter, I’m just gonna be like, “Yeah, Twitter’s cool. But are you are on Flutter?”
Look, a plane can drop bombs over Baghdad, or deliver food to Russian refugees. A needle can save a child from polio, or feed him his first taste of heroin. And now, with a similar magnitude of seriousness, my new Twitter feed will either be the best thing that ever happened in your life…or (gasp) it won’t.
Hopefully at least one of us will survive to tweet about it.
Don’t just follow me. Stalk me @mrjoshhealey. Let’s get creepy with this.