All A Twitter…

In what is probably one of the more ridiculous admissions made in this lifetime, I must fully acknowledge that I have a bizarre love/hate relationship with Twitter.

Sometimes just using the word makes me feel like just I substituted a dirty word in the presence of children.

“That girl can be such a twitter!”

“He’s a son of a twitter.”

“That gymnast just cracked their twitter on the balance beam. Ouch!”

But I digress.

My initial reaction to the invention of this game-changing app was blatant disregard. The purist in me thought it was a further nail in the coffin of human interaction, which would enable my already half-hearted desire to be in a room with people on a regular basis. Then it morphed into semi-hatred when it became clear that in order to satisfy the 140-character limit, you end up decimating the English language with barely translatable text. (Sometimes I think my brother learned his entire vocabulary through this method.) Prior to people realizing they could simply send multiple messages to convey a thought, ppl tlkd lk no1 wnt 2 skool.

Once it became clear that it wasn’t going away, and had, in fact, grown in popularity as even politicians began using it, my intrigue set in. As staunchly against abbreviated thoughts as I’d been, there was no denying that the influence of Twitter was evident. Hell, Corey Booker’s entire political career might exist because of it. For celebrities and other influencers, the number of followers they had were equated to human currency.

So I created an account… and quickly got bored with it. I was more interested in the real-time news and confirming rumored deaths and other gossip than anything. The idea of sharing random thoughts to the “Twitterverse” disturbed me… although one of my girlfriends in D.C. and I made a regular habit of doing award show commentaries on it as if we were the two old puppets on “The Muppet Show”.

Twitter was our heckling paradise.

While some would say it’s the same as writing a Facebook status, or possibly even blogging, one can at least control the level of exposure and/or response to some extent via those platforms. Whereas on the flip side, I inexplicably found myself being “followed” by people with porn star names, and getting spam messages about checking out sites that probably lead to viruses.

Then one day it became clear to me why this newfangled social media thingy was so damn popular…

While flipping through the timeline, I saw a “tweet” from Vanity Fair in which they quoted the rapper Chamillionaire. Instantly, my thought was two things: the first was that their account was being tasked by someone likely born in the ’90’s, and the second was how awesome it was that a magazine typically associated with covering socialites and the scandalous misdeeds of the rich and famous from the “old-money” set was mentioning a man made famous by a song called “Ridin’ Dirty”.

In fact, it struck me so oddly fantastic that I wrote a tweet about it, in which I said “Whenever I wonder why I’m on Twitter, I see something random like @VanityFair quoting @Chamillionaire.” And promptly signed off.

Hours later, while checking my email, there was a message telling me Chamillionaire re-tweeted my message. Apparently, he was just as amused as I was.

It was then that I realized that as much of a bitchfest as Twitter can be, the draw is that the “Average Joe” has an opportunity to be acknowledged by people they normally only see in the media. Very often, you’ll see re-tweets from celebrities where the initial sender literally begs for one. They also have the perfect platform to publicly stalk, scold, and shame people with minimal risk of an arrest or being slapped with a restraining order.

Even after getting a direct message from a rap artist asking about an artwork I posted a photo of, ribbing an actor friend — who I’d later date — about an ill-fated picture, and exchanging occasionally humorous dialogue with notable personalities, my feelings about Twitter were still teetering on ambivalent.

Until this morning… when I got an email informing me that Amel Larrieux was now following me. A significant upgrade from wannabe porn stars. It’s one thing for them to respond to you, it’s another thing for them to follow you.

I nearly twittered my pants.

Suddenly, the pressure to write better abbreviated thoughts become tenfold when you learn an artist of her caliber might be reading them.

And just when I thought I had reached my crazy zenith for the week, a photo taken by a well-known entertainment reporter I used to work with popped up on Instagram (another stalker hotbed). It was of Grace Jones re-tweeting him, with the caption: “This. Just. Happened. I Die.” (I fear should Liza Minelli or Dolly Parton ever do the same, he really will die from the excitement.)

Validation ensued.

At first, I contemplated ending this post with a pledge to tweet responsibly and encourage you all to do the same. But who are we kidding? Some of the best and/or most memorable stuff are the off-the-cuff epic meltdowns of legend, i.e. Weiner, Bynes, Baldwin, Cyrus, and the queen of ’em all… Rihanna (as hot as that girl may be, she is a whole bag of crazy — and we love her for it).

Instead, my PSA for the day is more in the lines of don’t drink and tweet, mind your grammar, and resist the urge to post “selfies” of any nature.

It’s all fun and games til something goes viral…

So follow me @lrbnyc and let’s see how much fun — or trouble — we can get into…

Public Display of Erection

As tragic as it is, it’s just too comical to ignore.  Do people not watch Dateline?

Countless careers  and public images have imploded for the dumbest reason in the history of man.  I sit here now thinking not how I should be disgusted as a woman because of the actions of people like Anthony Weiner or Tiger Woods… I’m more appalled by the lack of thought and consideration that prompted them to use multi-media messages and Facebook and Twitter to announce their horn-dog thoughts.

I’ve long abandoned any romantic thoughts that human beings have common sense, and that love and decency conquers all.  We live in a world where tabloids generate more public interest than real news, and sex tapes make people with no discernible talents into millionaire moguls and unlikely role models. 

But for someone like Weiner, who was riding high politically and personally — having an almost certain lock on becoming New York’s next mayor, and marrying a woman who all but guaranteed he’d have the blessing of Bill and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail — the social networking sites will come to be his undoing.  That, and his ridiculously large, um, ego.  

That’s not to say that plenty of people haven’t succumbed to moments of delusional grandeur when armed with a camera phone during a lonely pause in their day, but one would like to think they had the good sense to either send them exclusively to significant others or — the more favored option — come to their senses and delete them entirely. 

But really people… How many times does this have to happen before it sinks in?  I was reading a New York Magazine questionnaire, in which readers were asked to choose the lines that were spoken by either Weiner or Tiger Woods, and I was shocked at how many I got wrong and what was said to the women on the receiving end of these messages.  Call me crazy, but if you have a lot to lose (for Woods, several hundred million dollars, endorsements, the wife and kids… for Weiner his entire political career and the little respectability he’d built for such an unfortunate name), why would you use such public forums to behave very, very badly?  One would think they’d learn from the colossal mistakes of their predecessors, but I guess when you reach a certain plateau in the public eye, the altitude up there must give people God complexes. 

Am I saying that they should have done what they did in private? In a way, I am.  My feminism is only matched by my realism, and the reality is men and women both act up when it comes to our carnal desires clouding our judgement.  We’ve all said and done things that in retrospect weren’t the smartest ways to go, and you can only hope nobody gets hurt in the process and you don’t lose more than a moment of dignity.  I’d rather their spouses not had the task of picking up the pieces of their broken lives in front of the world.  I shake my head at the women who, instead of putting these guys in check, encourage them further and then whine about how their privacy has been violated after they contact the media, and schedule interviews and hire Gloria Allred to further take our gender down the food chain. 

While Weiner’s not the only pol-idiot who was caught with his pants literally down, his mistake was being so defiantly dishonest and even egging the press on — further sparking the flames that burned him.  It’s unfortunate because New York has lost one of our toughest congressmen at a time when we need all the help we can get in this time of record job losses and other pressing issues that the world was briefly distracted from during this absurd scandal.

And although I am saddened by the end result of his lack of discretion, I must say he’s taught me a thing or two about how to spice up a text message!