Thursday, March 21, 2013

Better Late than Never?

My husband and Veronica in Salinas County or close by last year.

Better late than never? I don't think that adage is true anymore. By the time I've cottoned on to a new technology it's passe. (My 4 year old laptop might as well be a museum relic, my cell-phone is so dumb.. How dumb is it?? well, I think it once belonged to my son, when he was in University or was it Jr. College?)

I joined Twitter last night, but I don't understand what to do. If I can't say it in a 1000 words, I don't want to say it. (Would that sentence make the 140 character limit on Twitter?) I bet it would.

 I already had an account under the handle Margaret the Mom (in homage to my husband's great-grandmother Margaret, using her picture) but I used the account only to contact my brother, who uses Twitter a lot, mostly to tweet about women's tennis but sometimes to tweet about left wing issues and/or his breakfast.

(He got mad when I called Tweeting "Twitting" the other day. I said, "Don't worry. It's Upper-Class Twitting.")

So why did I get on Twitter last night?  Well, two reasons: first my cousin. She's in PR at N.A.S.A. at J.P.L the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and years ago she was the one who got the Mars Mission at J.P.L to incorporate Twitter into their communications plan.

She told me about it back then. She said "You should sign up. It's easy."  But I looked at the site, got confused and clicked off. I am an essayist, after all. The shortest things (ah, literary pieces, ah, word-groupings) I'd written were 30 second radio ads. About 3 paragraphs. 4 paragraphs if the announcer read quickly.

Anyway, at the time, my cousin got lots of national press for her first highly-successful application, which was giving the Mars Rover a voice on Twitter as it made its descent on a holiday weekend when few people were watching T.V.

My cousin is now the head of Social Media for J.P.L (and remember how successful the last landing was, publicity-wise?)well, this past week her team won an award at the South by Southwest Digital Media Festival (or whatever it is called)... Best use of Social Media. I first saw it on her Facebook page. (My California cousin has come a long way from Montclair Avenue in N.D.G.)

And I thought "Gee, I don't even use Twitter."

The second reason: A good friend of mine recently got divorced and found a new boyfriend. She told me how they spend time together goofing off by tweeting. So I thought, if these two highly-successful people like to Tweet together on their dates why can't I?

They told me how Yoko Ono is following them, because they followed her.  I got jealous :)

So last night I clicked to follow Yoko Ono.. She hasn't yet clicked to follow me. My friends are both visual artists(among other things) so maybe that's what tweaked Yoko's interests.)

But they inadvertently showed me what do to. Look up people you admire and Follow them. (And not just stand up comedians...I mean,  let's face it, Twitter is designed for people who can 'pen' pithy one liners. People like John Cleese, so I clicked on his Follow button. Upper class twitting, you see.) I see on Wikipedia that the word Twitter was chosen by the founders because it means ' a short burst of inconsequential information'.  Hmmm.

I already followed Richard Dreyfuss the actor. I saw one of his tweets a while back so I subscribed to his Twitter feed. He's long been one of my favorite actors. Since Duddy Kravitz not American Graffiti.  I don't think there's one movie of his I have not enjoyed.

I also had "the Queen" a comic Twitter account, where her Majesty goes around on a bicycle gin-soaked. My friend Geoff, in Halifax, has long followed 'her'. He has a Twitter account, but I always figured that was because he too is in the 'biz' and has to keep up on all things media.

Anyway I added a few actors (which seems like stalking, including Ryan Gosling, which seems pervy for a woman my age).. and also Jay Baruchel, a favorite of my son's but also of mine since Tropic Thunder, who complained just yesterday about the snow in N.D.G. where he lives. (No secret, his handle is Jay Baruchel N.D.G.) Hey Jay, you should be out here near Rigaud. We got twice as much snow as you guys.

And I clicked on my favorite tennis players, too.  Juan del Potro's account is in Spanish. (For some reason my brother likes women's tennis and I prefer men's :) That's because he lives in Denmark and Caroline Wazniacki is the big star there and I live in Canada and Milos Raonic is the big star here. Really. That's the reason.

And I clicked on some Montreal journalists and such, and realized that this is a good way to stay connected with what's happening locally. I am a Montrealer, after all, even if I am stuck in the 'orrible suburburbssss.

  My husband already has a lot of these people on his Facebook page, because he works in the media.

He doesn't use Facebook, let alone Twitter. He has too much to do around the house on his days off, like shoveling tonnes of sticky snow. (And he doesn't like it too much when the major news networks always refer to "what's trending on Twitter" as if they are followers of the news and not leaders of the news because it is cheap and easy to do. I tend to agree.)

And then I noticed that the former Mayor of Montreal, Camillien Houde had a Twitter Account, so I clicked on it, too.

Camillien Houde was the guy who 'fired' my grandfather, Jules Crepeau in 1930. I write about it in Milk and Water.

Well, Veronica's great-grandfather.

It is Veronica who has the album with these pictures of her grandmother in Montreal in 1923 ish.

Anyway, I'm sure there are many more interesting people with important things to say on Twitter who I could follow.

If I can stay on task... and keep from stalking celebrities (lowest common denominator). Ah, the age of Twitter!

PS. Last night something important did come up RANDOMLY on my Twitter feed. A story about the the Environmental Lakes Project... and its imminent demise.

I re-tweeted it.