By Rob Ficiur
For the first 50 years of my life I lived without twitter. I fully expected to live the next 50 years and more without Tweeting and twittering. Secretly, I mocked those who always riveted to their phone checking all that high tech stuff.
Innocently enough a fellow sports fan showed me how be a more educated sports fan. With a few clicks of a button he (we) had downloaded twitter on my i-pad. Then in less time than it takes a sports fan to find the remote control, I had a twitter account. Minutes later, I was following people and topics I never knew existed before.
I chose to limit twitter stuff to sports. The following are some of the enlightening items I found on twitter. (Using the word enlightening makes it sound important).
-Twitter provides many retweets that expanded my sources. Those who are active on Twitter use some of their time retweeting other stories they feel are important. As I became twitterized (is that a word?) I found myself learning as much from the re-tweets as I did from the original posts from those I followed.
-Up to the second information – Twitter gave me up to the second information that I could never dreamed of when I first went on the internet in 1997. I knew that morning who was pitching what innings in the Blue Jays pre-season games. I knew who missed the morning skate as my NHL team prepared for a game. At the time this information seemed important. Looking back, how much did it matter if I knew these minute details? In time I came to the conclusion that these facts were irrelevant to my basic life existence, but I still kept checking the daily tweets because I could.
-Hockey Card Memories – One of my favorite tweeters is O-Pee-Chee stars. Several times a day these company post pictures of their older hockey cards with a story about that player. For example, today there is a card of Billy Smith and a note commemorating that 34 years ago today the New York Islanders won their fourth straight Stanley Cup. Billy Smith was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP. When I began following this tweeter – I was surprised how the cards brought back child hood memories. Many of these cards I had and traded in those school years long past. If it wasn’t the card I remembered, it was the person.
-World Events – Even though my twitter was specific to sports, I heard about breaking world news. Breaking news usually means something horrific has occurred, and sports tweeters pass that awful news around.
-I am not much of a tweeter – I rarely tweet anything. On Facebook my children tell me that this is called lurking. On Twitter I don’t have much to say so I don’t tweet. I did learn that if I want to keep track of a tweet then I should re-tweet it so I can find it again. My last re-tweet was April 30 – it was a hockey card of Ace Baily scoring a goal 45 years ago to help the Bruins beat the Rangers. Ace Baily died on September 11, 2001 when the plane he was in hit the South Twin Tower.
Some how in my twittering world I have acquired ten followers. I know about half of those followers – and of course one of them is a spam junk mail. Yes, spam exists on Twitter too.
-Instant Everything – With twitter you get analysis as it happens. We don’t’ have to wait for a summary of the big game, you can get a summary of every play. As I was writing I just found out that Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman hit a home run. His home run travelled 99 miles per hour and went 370 feet. No doubt in a few minutes I will know how long it has been since a Blue Jays pitcher hit a home run. But that is all old news, because it happened fourteen minutes ago…sorry fifteen minutes ago.
Twitter Problems – Like any other tool twitter can be used for good, bad stuff or just a waste of time. Once you start checking twitter four or five times a day is that too much? When you check twitter right before sleep or first thing in the morning is that excessive? What I began to find is that I felt I had to check twitter. If any hobby gets to the point of obsession then it too much.
I deleted my Twitter ap from my I-pad and that was the end of my Twitter days. Life went on just fine without me knowing every last minute detail. Eventually I found out if my team won – sometimes I even waited until the next day to check the scores. I knew as I went cold turkey on Twitter that I would miss some stories and facts. Life went on just fine without those gems that I kept looking for.
Without Twitter I found myself having to make an effort to check my favorite websites. Sometimes by making it a two or three step process we just don’t do it – so I would go several days without seeing the website I would have seen several times a day.
The life of a Twitterless sports fan is just fine. I knew (thought) I would never use the Twitter app again… oh wait. I will reinstall the app just for one big game…and then a few days later I found out that Sidney Crosby was skating two days after he was diagnosed with a concussion… and then…
Maybe I will keep that Twitter app for now.