The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 3, 2013

Mike Pound: Life’s atwitter with joy of tweets

JOPLIN, Mo. — As usual, it’s my fault.

It’s my fault that my wife doesn’t have time to do the things around the house that she used to. It’s my fault because I was the one who suggested that she learn about Twitter.

And when I say “learn about Twitter,” I mean learn the approximately 3 percent of Twitter information that I have learned. Several months ago, everyone in The Joplin Globe newsroom was encouraged to take a Twitter course in order to allow us to become better, more well-rounded journalists in order to function in the 21st — it is the 21st, isn’t it? — century.

See, in the news business, Twitter is definitely the rage. Twitter is to journalism today what the inverted pyramid was to journalism in 1960. Now, I’m just assuming the inverted pyramid was a big deal in journalism in 1960. For all I know, the big deal then might have been Wite-Out or typewriter ribbons.

So, a few months ago, I took a Twitter crash course taught by a Globe newsroom employee under the age of 30. Here is what I learned:

No. 1: How to read a tweet.

No. 2: How to send a tweet.

No. 3: How to “follow” someone on Twitter.

And No. 4: How to remember my Twitter password.

Of course, what I was supposed to learn was how to direct people to my column online and how to send Twitter messages containing important news-related information. But I didn’t.

First of all, I’m uneasy trying to get people to read my column. The way I see it, people have suffered enough. Why make it worse for them? Second of all, I seldom have important news-related information to share. Mainly what I have to share are random goofy things, and since I already share those in my column, I’m pretty sure folks don’t want me to share them on Twitter.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t like Twitter. In fact, I love Twitter. It is the best waste of time a guy like me can have, and I am a great time waster. If our Congress creatures wasted time like I do, they would … well, they would be exactly like they are now. My point is, I waste a lot of time.

With Twitter, I can read about the St. Louis Cardinals, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas Jayhawks. I can read about politics, books, movies, TV shows and beer. I can read the funny thoughts of Steve Martin, Albert Brooks, Carl Reiner, Will Ferrell and former Pope Benedict.

That last one was sort of a joke but, you never know, with all that free time the former pope might go crazy on Twitter. Of course, his tweets will be in Latin, but that’s OK.

Because I am a Twitter fan, I thought it would be fun for my wife to learn about Twitter. For weeks I tried to get her to let me teach her the little bit that I know, but she resisted.

“It seems like a giant waste of time,” my wife said.

“It is,” I said.

“But I have a job. You don’t,” my wife said.

I started to tell my wife that writing a column is a job, but that argument never gets anywhere with her.

I told my wife that Twitter will help with her work. She then agreed to let me teach her.

When my wife asked me who she should follow on Twitter, I told her she could follow anyone she wanted to follow. So she typed in names of all the “Real Housewives” on the Bravo Channel.

“You’re right,” my wife said. “This is fun.”

Before long, my wife was following hundreds of people and she was having fun on Twitter. So much fun, in fact, that we haven’t spoken in a week.

Ha! That’s just a Twitter joke. My wife and I have to still speak. Just yesterday my wife asked me to take out the trash.

Well, she didn’t actually ask me. She tweeted me.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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