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To Tweet or Not To Tweet?

By Gerald McGrew on November 17, 2010 in Other

It took a Labrador fellating a professional sportsman to make me realise that I really should be on Twitter.

A steady diet of smarmy Q&A episodes has allowed me to understand that Twitter is the preferred tool of trade for a very special type of person: the digitally connected smart-arse.

I’ve commented before on the large number of pointless Twitter messages out there (“I’m on a bus”, “grabbing a coffee”, “I’m really not a deadshit”, etc.). However, what has become clear as Twitter usage matures is that the best examples of the 140-character medium generally involve having a crack at someone or something. And this couldn’t be more Australian.

When a greenie chap recently threw his Hush Puppies at John Howard the thing that stuck in my memory wasn’t the sight of little Johnny bravely trying to be cool about it. After all, the shoe may have had an asylum seeker with a knife (or worse, a visa) wedged into it, and he looked for all the world like he only shat his pants the smallest bit.

No, what made the event a standout for me was the tweet that appeared onscreen seconds later from a random punter, noting that the thrower would be disappointed at having tossed the shoe that had his dope stash in it. Instant gold! And to think I could have sent it, if only I was clever, quick and actually on Twitter!

So you could only imagine the number of imaginary McGrew tweets that sprang to mind when a picture appeared of a very drunk Raider self-administering a teammates pet to his crotch; and when a friend of mine gave himself a massive paper cut under his nose (yes, his philtrum) by overly-aggressively turning the page of a broadsheet newspaper while lying in bed with an extreme hangover; or the time a work colleague casually informed me one Monday morning that his mate suffered a fractured penis while having sex with a midget.

You see we all have what we think are amusing thoughts, which we usually waste on the significant other sitting next to us on the lounge, or share with friends over a drink. With Twitter we can now instantly amuse or annoy all of our friends, acquaintances and relative strangers with our pithy humour and “OMG-LOL-he-actually-broke-his-dick” observations.

Of course there is a risk here. In a small group you can be a bit of a non-witty wanker and the damage is relatively limited. But be a spontaneous wanker for large groups of people simultaneously and you may have a bigger issue on your hands – you could turn into Rove. Or you could just end up being someone who stops mid-conversation, furiously taps into their smartphone, then sheepishly says they tweeted something funny, which you know obliges others to ask what it was, despite the fact you also know it will be distinctly unfunny, and then you have to act like it was funny. And it wasn’t.

Will I end up on Twitter? Not anytime soon I’m afraid. You see deep down we both know I’ll be that guy that interrupts a chat to tweet something that’s not really funny, and the Eastern Suburbs doesn’t need another one of them!

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