The life and words of Ashley, Erin, and Michelle

Twitter and Jabberwocky May 5, 2009

Filed under: Life in General — michellehuegel @ 2:15 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I was supposed to post on Friday or Saturday. But I figured I might as well get the inevitable late post out of the way at the beginning. So from here on out (at least until the next time I forget and post late), you can expect to hear from me on the weekend!

I joined Twitter a couple weeks ago. As a salesperson in a technology business (cell phones), I feel the responsibility to keep up on new stuff, especially where it intersects with cell phones. And Twitter seems almost custom-designed for the mobile world. An update, at 140 characters max, is the perfect text-message size.

So I twitter my tweets (what a friend calls her fellow twitter-ers, maybe related to “peeps”?), and tweet my heart out, and follow friends’ twitters, and retweet the cool stuff, and complain about Tweetdeck, and all of a sudden, “twitter” sounds a lot like the poem “Jabberwocky,” in which the words are completely made up, but sound oh-so-close to being real. To give you context, here’s the first two stanzas of “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll:

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

The words sound so close to real – they’re even grammatical! But it’s not real. The words are just empty noises. And it occurs to me that social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and so on, can sometimes be just so much “slithy toves.” Sometimes they’re about as real as reality TV. The illusion of truth and transparency, of a glimpse into our lives, but upon closer inspection, it’s all empty noises. Who ever says what they’re truly thinking and feeling? We say whatever will get us retweeted, followed, and friended.

So will I shut down my Facebook and muffle my tweets? Will I stop wasting time in the smoke-and-mirrors world of social networking? Nope. Because at the end of the day, who doesn’t love saying (tweeting?) “gyre and gimble in the wabe”?? It’s fun! It’s an amusing, relaxing, interesting-in-a-social-experimentation-way method of killing time. Plus you can learn interesting things about your friends (or your tweets). And about people who aren’t your friends. And about people you’ve never heard of in your life.

Just beware the Jabberwock, and watch out for the snare of the frumious Bandersnatch.

Oh, and be sure to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter (editorialdragon)! 😀

Michelle Huegel


One Response to “Twitter and Jabberwocky”

  1. You know you have been the driving force of all my social networking. I remember sitting in the lab and hearing, “Ashley, I’m making you a Facebook account. What do you want your password to be?” And you got me on Shelfari and Twitter.

    Is there anything else I can copy off of you? 🙂

    Well, besides having a baby. 😀

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