Last Friday I became the 621,878,922th person to join Twitter. I inserted my noble name under the blue dove, spent an hour or so until Twitter accepted a proper picture of me, wrote a description of my best self, and started twittering.
My next thought was: and what do I write here? I felt a sudden rush of power, as if I had instantly become just like any other celebrity with a microphone to propel my thoughts to the world stage. Do I rail against global warming? Do I craft a joke? Do I paraphrase the Pope? Do I offer a prayer to impress way more people than those Pharisees shouting Halleluiahs on street corners? Ah, the power…
Then I realized that there was nobody there to read my pearls, so I guessed I needed to follow people so people would follow me. Twitter gave me the option to import my emails contacts, so there you go. I’m instantly following 300+ people, while 0 people follow me. The least popular person in all of Twitter.
But I still had the ominous challenge of proclaiming my first words-made-tweet. I tried to go for sympathy, and asked people what they would suggest a neophyte like me should do. “Best way to get a lot out of twitter is to tweet a lot”, advised Stephen Murray of South Africa. “Well you’re already following 300 people, you’ll get a glimpse at it in no time! ;-)” wrote a friend who it would be courteous not to name, reveling in my desperate overcrowded following of everyone I know while having not a single soul follow this illustrious self.
My confidence was so shaken that I could not come back to Twitter for a full 19 hours, and then writer’s block got me (it made me feel like a writer, at least) and I could only retweet something. Then I thought I can do this, but the best I could do was to very humbly quote myself from a previous article (a Wondering Fair article, nonetheless). Grievous guilt gripped me, while no self-confidence arrived, so, 35 hours later, I quoted a more honorable source: The Book of Common Prayer. A little tweaking was needed, poor Thomas Cranmer turned in his grave, but there you go.
Which brings me to why I’m writing this: if you’re on Twitter, you can find me at @ReneBreuel. I promise to get better at it.