My daughter can take it no longer. "You've got to get on Twitter, Dad!"
"But I don't know what to tweet," I answer. "That is the right word, isn't it?"
"Yes, Dad. You tweet things."
"Like a Facebook status update? I know how to do that!"
Sighs from your children are never good. And I know what this one means. It means Dad, you can be so dumb sometimes. She'd never say that aloud, of course. But she does still make fun of my flip-phone.
"Well, I guess if Rockin' Robin can go tweet, tweet, tweet, I can too. How do I do it?"
"You set up an account."
"Okay. I've set up accounts before. Can't be that tough. Where?"
Her brows rise. "Seriously?"
I flash her the puppy dog eyes so she won't scold me in front of my grandchildren. "Twitter.com?" She gives me a slow nod. I avoid her stare, bring up Firefox and start singing. "All the little birds on Twitter Street, like to hear the Paw Paw go tweet tweet tweet." My grandkids give their mom that Is Grandpa okay? look. I make a face at them and sing louder. "Rockin' Paw Paw, tweet tweet. Rockin' Paw Paw, tweet tweet."
"Please, Dad. You're scaring the kids. You're a writer, not a singer. Stick to what you can do, okay?"
So I took the plunge. During the course of getting everything set up and configured, I learned things, things like "Skip this step" really does mean you can skip the step--except when your daughter says not to. I learned that I didn't know five tweeter handles I wanted to follow and couldn't help but wrinkle my nose at those Twitter suggested. I learned that forty-eight-year-old parents should not set up Twitter accounts without one of their children supervising.
Some things I didn't learn despite asking, like when I said, "Wait a minute. If I'm limited to 140 bytes then how can I upload a picture?" Instead of answering, she laughed. Hard. Hey, I thought it was a good question, but I didn't press since she was doubled over and trying to breathe through snorts of uncontrollable laughter. I'll just Google it.
But, hey, it's spring time now and I'm twitterpated! (Gotta play off Bambi whenever possible, I always say.) But be warned, I've yet to tweet anything. For the first time in my life, I don't know what to say. I just feel like my first time should be...special, you know?
140 characters? Polaroids of the digital age.
You can find me at @JeffreySHargett (I may have to look into upgrading that old flip phone after all.)