Why My Twitter Account Makes Me Old-Fashioned

As writer of The Paris Review Blog, I of course follow The Paris Review on Twitter. After spending this morning reading through the account’s tweets, I realized the suddenly obvious paradox of my actions. If I call myself a writer, why would I be subjecting myself to the horrors of the social media world, where anyone with the least amount of talent can make a claim in 140 characters and has the right—or rather, the audacity—to call himself a writer?

It’s all about the way you play the game, my friends. I myself am on Twitter (@misscocomae), and I understand its necessity. If I foresee any possibility of my personal success in the future, I certainly have to live, presently, in the future; therefore, I cannot sit in a dark corner of a soon-to-be-extinct bookstore, perusing over a copy of The Paris Review with my fellow colleagues and moping about the days when reading was the fashion and Fitzgerald was its model.

The world has indeed been translated online, but that does not mean I refuse to read the translation. I have devised myself a cunning outlook on the Twitter-verse that makes my time spent on the website worthy of praise by a world of technologically-skeptic literary lovers.

The insincere vanity of Twitter I refuse to see any longer; instead, I view my account’s activity as an old-fashioned soirée of sorts. In cyberspace, there is unlimited room for visitors to chat, gossip, and discuss the latest trends, yet by using specific “@” tweets, we can start up an intimate conversation in the crowd of meaningless noise. Think of it as a party straight out of The Great Gatsby. There’s room in Gatsby’s mansion for all of New York, from Wall Street’s finest to the drunk next door, but in the midst of it all, there’s a nice table outside where you and Nick Carraway—maybe even Jordan Baker—can sit down for a casual tête-à-tête about whether or not Jay Gatsby really is an Oxford man.

Jordan Baker’s party prerogative tends to describe my feelings toward Twitter best:  “I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” As the Jordan Baker of the Twitter party, I invite you to see the world of tweets and trending topics through an old-fashioned perspective. And just like one of Gatsby’s legendary parties, it starts all over again on the morrow, and you can come and go as you please. I guess it takes a literary girl to transform the cutting edge of social media’s future into a place where we can celebrate the former (and accurate) meaning of “being social.”

So come join the party. And pass the wine, if you may, in less than 140 characters.

If you’re the following kind, follow me on Twitter @misscocomae

8 comments

  1. Have fun with this, Courtney! Nice job!

  2. A masterly defense of Twitter. I also have a love hate relationship with social media. On the one hand I see the possibility of promoting my writing while, on the other the inanity of much of the activity on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook grates on my nerves. Whether we like it or not we are stuck with social media so we may as well make use of it. Incidentally I am not sure you are correct as regards the demise of book shops. Certain kinds of books are best produced digitally, for example works of reference which require updating on a frequent basis. However I believe that many readers will continue to value traditional books because of their uniqueness. I am blind and love e-books as they are (unlike print books) accessible using text to speech on my Kindle, however I still love the scent of traditional paper books when passing by a book shop and, if I could see print books would festoon my book shelves.

  3. I absolutely loved this. Very well written!

  4. Anne Arbour · · Reply

    This is a clever view of Twitter. My new catch-phrase for Twitter will be “Close my eyes and think of Gatsby!”

  5. An interesting choice to deem Twitter somehow old-fashioned in conflict with its consistent advancements in technology & communication. But that’s what is refreshing about this post; discovering a new perspective on initial opinions. I completely agree that it is a competitive and often daunting platform to attempt to communicate, especially noting the 140-character limit to our thoughts, but it seems our battle with time isn’t ending anytime soon, so being able to communicate in this way will have to do. I applaud your style of writing as well and look forward to reading more! Cheers!

  6. I love your blog and you are definitely a literary blogger. Original blog you have built here. I am most proud of your creative mind.

  7. jacheree · · Reply

    Perfection!

  8. […] like to share a beloved article with my new followers. If you have not seen it, here is “Why My Twitter Account Makes Me Old-Fashioned.” An interesting read about how we can make Twitter into our own party of […]

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