Saturday, March 6, 2010

Polish your wit with Twitter

This appeared in The SA Times today.

I stumbled upon a few amusing facts this week. First, I came across an article in Wall Street Journal about fashion label Gucci’s legacy and learnt Mr. Gucci’s first name; Guccio. The man was named Guccio Gucci! Interesting is all I could mumble. Then I caught an episode of ex-politician Rahul Mahajan’s bride hunt show. What an amazing set of girls to choose from; none of whose IQ seems to be more than 79 (borderline deficiency). One actually thought Obama’s full name was Obama Bin Laden. To think that someone needs to go on national TV to find that. Brilliant. Then I saw Karan Johar winning a ‘Social Icon of the Year’ award at the NDTV Indian of the Year award show simply for using Twitter extensively. It gives the rest of us hope when we’re hooked onto seemingly useless addictions.

Which brings me to my most interesting experience of the week. Out of a desperate measure to do something entertaining on one dull evening, I logged onto Twitter after a good 6 months and got blown away this time around.

Being an ardent Facebook user, I believed I was doing a decent job of being virtually in touch with all my friends and family. It even bordered on obsessive-compulsive disorder on some days. Left me with little time and inclination to get into yet another relationship with yet another social networking site. I’m nothing if not loyal or so I thought until Twitter crushed that notion. I watched myself get entangled into a Twitterverse of tweets from a variety of names and faces, some I identified as popular from the world of politics/ literature/ movies/ fashion/ media and some others I didn’t recognize because they were ordinary virtual people, or Tweeple, just like me, but were interesting nevertheless. It’s been three days since then and I haven’t rested.

You probably know the real difference between the two already. Facebook is Facebook where as Twitter is largely used by people to speak their minds in 140 words mostly about current on goings. The best part, you can follow anyone and vice-versa without any egos, social standing or stardom coming in the way. I’ve even got the 44th President of United States following me. That’s right, Barack Obama follows me on Twitter even when I don’t follow him. And it’s a verified account of his so don’t you laugh it out. But it’s no biggie because he follows some 700k people. See what I mean? It’s a dangerous place though because it’s so easy to lose your way if you have a tendency of getting swayed.

You’ve most likely heard the rest but here’s what’s got me hooked. Wit. I just see a lot more wit on Twitter than all the other sites I am on, combined. Attribute it to the restriction on the tweet length or the exemplar set by some on the site but it’s hard to deny. One of my favs on it is Rahul Khanna. Here’s one from him. “Today I discovered there really is no dignified way to react when painters suddenly appear on scaffolding outside your bathroom window.”

It’s also been entertaining to discover how a sub-section of the Indian media, Indian politicians and Indian celebrities have started a mutual admiration society on Twitter. Barkha Dutt praises Karan Johar, Karan Johar praises Abhishek Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan praises Shah Rukh Khan, Shah Rukh praises Shashi Tharoor, Shashi Tharoor praises Barkha Dutt and to be different, Shobhaa De trashes them all. I wonder if PR agents will be extinct in the near future since everyone talks to everyone on such platforms completely eliminating the need for a middle man.

For more wit, hit me up on Twitter (randomwalkers) and follow who I follow or give me a few suggestions. See ya?

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