Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tweet Tweet

No, we did not get a bird to add to our menagerie.  Really?  Come on.  Those of you that know me know that I, like my maternal grandmother, DO NOT like birds.  Well, I enjoy watching them in the wild, but having them in my house is a totally different story.  I have an irrational fear of birds; ask my mom to tell you about the “killer pigeons” at Faneuil Hall in Boston if you don’t believe me.

I have officially jumped onto the Twitter bandwagon.  As with Facebook, I did not join Twitter willingly, but did so out of necessity and at the prodding, well, really shoving of several friends.  Joe is racing his fifth Ironman on Sunday – Ironman Wisconsin in Madison.  He always rents a nifty GPS tracker thingy that, in theory, shows us where he is on the bike or run course during his race.  Alas, technology being what it is, it’s not always accurate and for those of you that want to know the blow by blow of how he’s doing, it doesn’t’ paint much of a picture.  And, it doesn’t show Joe specifically in all his glory or misery, just a little icon of a cyclist/runner dude on a map. 

“Why not just post to Facebook,” you ask?  This chick doesn’t do F/B on her phone and I’d look pretty ridiculous toting my bright pink MacBook around the rural suburbs of Madison and in downtown Madison proper trying to find Wi-Fi hotspots.  Besides, not everyone that wants to track Joe does either or might not have a F/B account on their PC. 

Always one that’s slow to adopt the newest social media, I hadn’t even considered “tweeting” until my BC pal Erin recommended it when we finally got to meet in person this summer.  She will be volunteering at the race and urged me to tweet since I didn’t Facebook on my phone.  I mentioned the idea to several other friends who all thought it was a wonderful idea.  Of course they did; they are tweeters.  Even Joe, who doesn’t tweet, agreed.  Gulp.  Okay… I guess I needed to bite the bullet and set up an account.

In our house, we have two methods of learning new technology or anything new for that matter - the informed, slow, methodical way or the bang-the-puzzle-piece-until-it-fits way.  You can probably guess which camp I belong to.  Here’s how the convo went down yesterday with Joe who is already up in Madison preparing for the race:
Gen: “I suppose I should set up a Twitter account.”
Joe: “Yeah.”
Gen: “Do you know how to do it?”
Joe: “Well, you probably should download the app and then Google it on your computer to see how to do it.”
Gen: “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

Here’s what I did:  I downloaded the app on my phone and proceeded to open it.  Surely there were directions with the app, right?  It’s not rocket science. 
I figured out very easily how to send my first tweet – The Ironman has made it to WI.  Awwww.  Wasn’t it cute?  I figured I should send my first tweet about Crazy Joe since he was the reason I was tweeting in the first place. 

When you open the app, it prompts you to look for other tweeters that you might know, so I did.  The app told me that I didn’t have any friends in my contacts that tweeted but then it gave me an extensive list of people I knew and suggested I “follow” them.  Big Mistake!  All of a sudden my phone started acting like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, spewing verbiage of 144 characters or less from people that I had stupidly agreed to “follow”.  I had obviously done something wrong.  I didn’t want to know about someone’s sister’s husband’s cousin’s kid who had gone on the potty for the first time!  UNINSTALL!  UNINSTALL! 

Okay.  Breathe.  I can do this; even kids as young as Josie tweet.  Surely I was still smarter than a third-grader.  I rationalized that if I reinstalled the app, all of the threads would disappear.  WRONG!  Alrighty.   Maybe if I just left the Twitter account alone for a while they would disappear.  Wrong again!  They actually multiplied like rabbits. 

By this point, I needed to get dinner going so I put my phone aside, hoping that the stream of tweets would slow to a trickle while I went back to being a techno-not-so-savvy mom.  When I finally got a moment between threatening the kids with DIRE punishments for misbehaving while Dad and I were in Wisconsin, giving our dear friend Corin the non-Reader’s Digest version of what goes down in the Matchette Casa on a daily basis and dealing with my neurotic pre-travelling self, I sat down to check my email on the computer.  Lo and behold, there was a nice email in my in-box welcoming me into this century and asking me to confirm my Twitter account. 

Aha!  Yet again, Joe was right.  I should have just done the whole sign-up process on the computer because here was where you could choose to “unfollow” the innumerable threads that Twitter and every other warm-blooded creature with access to technology want you to.  I unfollowed faster than the aforementioned rabbits can multiply.  I have a hard enough time keeping track of my buddies on Facebook.  I did not need the added pressure of doing so on Twitter as well. 

Knowing that even the Pope tweets, I figured I could get this.  I worked on my profile, uploading a picture of Joe and me, putting a short description of who I was and then thinking of a “handle”.  I was schooled on Facebook when I blithely announced that I was now going to be tweeting, but did no provide my “handle”.  What to choose…?  GenMatchette@GenMatchette just sounded silly.  MrsCrazyJoe@GenMatchetteGenzee@GenMatchette?  “Well,” I mused, “how do I identify myself, how do people know me and how can I come up with something catchy so that people will remember it?”  SandInMyBoobs@GenMatchette.  BINGO. 

As soon as I posted that to Facebook, I had buyer’s remorse.  This is also why I’m still undecided about a tattoo.  I like the idea of one, but I can’t decide where to put one and what to get put.  Should I have done, “GenMatchette@SandInMyBoobs” or should I just leave it as is?  The pressure!  Please, feel free to chime in.  I truly welcome your advice at this point. 

In the meantime, I’ll try to get a handle <g> on this tweeting thing.  As with most things, it will be a work in progress.  If you decide to follow me, 1.) Don’t follow me to closely as I have a tendency to weave and fall down sober or not, and 2.) If you suddenly can’t find me, try me at “GenMatchette@SandInMyBoobs”.  

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