Vini, Vidi, Tweeti

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("I came, I saw, I Tweeted," from the original Latin)

I would like to share a few thoughts with you this week about an activity that clearly marks the end of civilization as we know it: Twittering. The New York Times heralded Twitter as "one of the fastest-growing phenomena on the Internet." My doctor tells me to be leery of fast-growing anythings, so perhaps that's part of my concern. That being said, let's start with the basics: on Twitter

Twitter is a free service predicated on the question, "What are you doing?" By composing short, 140-character messages, you can share with the world that you are standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, munching a tuna sandwich, or watching your dog chase its tail. If compulsively posting such digital drivel is not enough of an incentive to get out of bed in the morning-which is, of course, another event you'll want to share with others-you can also follow the mundane activities of other peoples' uneventful lives-including neuron-numbing celebritwits. At no time in the history of interpersonal communication has the phrase "Get a life" been more appropriate.

To get started with Twitter, go to and click-well, "Get Started." Provide the information requested and in seconds you will be twittified.

Next, create your personal profile in which you can reveal as much or as little about yourself, as you wish. Hint: Less is more. The final step is to build your network by importing contact lists or you can locate friends and family members with the search engine at Search by entering your interests, quirks, fetishes and peccadilloes, which will produce a list of individuals who share similar disturbing characteristics that you can then elect to follow.

"Following" someone is akin to adding a person to a contacts list or as a Facebook friend, except the twirp (Twitter relationship) is a one-way street. Nobody sees your updates unless he or she chooses to follow you. I quickly discovered that lemming-like individuals will start following you shortly after you start following them. Creepy? Absolutely.

Once you begin stalking-excuse me, following others, their updates (called "tweets") will appear on the Web or in a Twitter feed to one or more designated devices. In the likely event someone gets on your nerves by posting too many senseless tweets (an oxymoron if ever there was one), you can remove or block the serial tweeter. There are many ways to post your tweets, including logging into and typing your life-altering updates into the field provided.

To thoroughly research this sociological scourge/phenomenon, I immersed myself in the twit culture (and I use the term loosely) for a period of two months. As a professional journalist for more than 25 years, I cannot adequately articulate the pride I felt as I typed ("twyped," in terminally cutesy TwitterSpeak), "Lilly coughed up a fur ball." I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking, "Pulitzer for Mr. Modem, at last!"

As Twitter itself enthusiastically chirps, "With Twitter, you can stay hyper-connected to your friends and always know what they're doing," which begs the question, "Who cares?"

Why anybody would feel compelled to share the excruciatingly tedious minutia of their life is bewildering; why anybody would want to read it is even more puzzling. I am willing to concede, however, that perhaps I'm failing to grasp the bigger picture, so this is your opportunity to set me straight: Are you a-twitter over Twitter? If so, what positive impact has it had on your life, and if you have any heartwarming, inspirational, or socially redeeming tales of the tweet, email me at . Deteriorating minds want to know.

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