I was recently “Twittered”…or is it “Tweeted”? “Chirped”, maybe? I don’t know, I don’t really “get” Twitter, which is crazy, because I’m quite Facebook savvy – with the commenting, and the ‘liking’, and the stalking – sometimes even replying multiple times to my OWN posts just to “get them going!” And not to toot my own horn, but once upon a time I was quite the chat room aficionado as well, once accidentally convincing a woman who turned out to be a very inappropriate number of years older than me that I was a single astrophysicist during our frequent flirty conversations – don’t tell my mom. It never occurred to me that women her age would be hanging out in chatrooms…But regardless, the carefree days of misrepresenting yourself on IRC have come and gone – there are dating apps for that now – and these days everyone seems to be “Tweeting” each other, which sounds like another one of those inappropriate acts that teenagers are always sneaking off to engage in while their parents are drinking boxed wine and binge-watching Netflix; as in the following example:
Jimmy: “Come on Megan, I really like you! Don’t you want to Tweet?”
Megan: “Here? Your mom is downstairs! What if she hears us?!”
Jimmy: “Pfff – Are you kidding? Game of Thrones is on – I could Tweet your brains out and she wouldn’t notice”
Megan: “Well, I do like you…and you ARE wearing half a can of Axe body spray…Okay, let’s do it!”
^Loud bird calls ensue^
Fortunately the children are safe, because it turns out Twitter is just another vehicle for sharing cat videos and making snarky comments about celebrities – and also, it seems, making job offers! Getting back to my original point – which is hard to remember now, but had something to do with birds, maybe? – I was recently contacted via Twitter by someone representing The Odyssey Online who wanted to know if I’d be interested in contributing to their website. Calling that a “job offer” is probably a bit of a stretch, in that there’s no actual money involved, or set hours, or any kind of dental coverage, but it was definitely an opportunity. I started my blog a year ago with the goal of spreading my sarcastic humor to the masses, and the masses responded with a resounding…silence. It turns out it’s actually pretty difficult to reach the masses; they’re an elusive group that are easily spooked. Oftentimes you’ll think you have them, only to see them turn and skitter away – like children being offered broccoli – right when you try to make your introduction. So while I’ve had my moments, most of my articles have had rather limited readership. That’s a little disappointing, sure, but there’s also a comfort factor there – sharing your work with a large group invites further critique, whereas an audience of friends and family is kinder, gentler, and more encouraging – mostly because they don’t want to deal with you pouting all the way through your next holiday visit. There’s something much more daunting about writing a letter to millions of people; questions that you’ve never considered before start popping into your mind; questions like, “Will people like what I have to say?”, “Am I – as a semi-professional writing person – employing proper and/or correct grammar, with respect to verbs, predicates, and syntaxes (or syntaxii), per se?”, “How do I know if my participle is dangling?”, and also, “Is my fly down?” It turns out that last one isn’t as important as you might think when you’re writing, and actually, I’ve decided to avoid the possibility altogether by writing all my articles in my underwear from here on out. The freeing sensation allows the creative juices to really flow – and also keeps anyone else from sitting in my chair. Say what you want about the social skills of engineers, we are natural-born problem solvers!
But getting back to the offer; from what I can tell, The Odyssey Online is a community of “creators” – most of them younger and probably more mature than me – brought together on this platform with the goal of generating, sharing, and discussing thoughts and opinions on a local level in hopes that they can inspire broader conversations that will go viral and make them gobs of money. At least that’s what I hope it is – I just kind of skimmed the literature…I may not be around for long anyway; once they realize that the most profound contribution I have to make to their conversation is the latest fart joke going around daycare, the editors may be inclined to terminate my employment. For the time being though, the deal is that I provide them with one piece of “content” per week, and they put it out on their platform where people might actually read it! Pretty cool, huh? These millennials are full of great ideas, which is why so many of them have decided to live with their parents forever! Haha! I kid, of course – I actually like this concept, and it does seem like a great way to build a following – I’m just bitter because I didn’t think of it myself.
However, while appealing, this offer isn’t all sunshine, daffodils, and candy corn. I do have a couple of concerns; first off, I’m concerned that I may be getting in a little over my head by committing to weekly posts, what with a full-time job, two small children, tennis league, gym habit, basement finishing project, and wife that appreciates occasional attention, though if something has to give, I suppose I could always ignore the kids – they’re very noisy, and the little one slobbers a lot – and success requires sacrifice! Fine, that’s decided; I will selflessly forgo precious diaper-changing time with my children to bring you – my soon-to-be adoring public – my latest opinions and gripes! Someone else should tell my wife… Second, I worry a little that every piece of media in every blog post I’ve ever written has been blatantly stolen off the internet, which is probably a suable offense, especially since – outside of Harold T. Stone – most judges seem to have been born without a sense of humor. However, while these concerns are valid, I don’t view them as showstoppers, so I think I’m going to give this thing a shot! And don’t worry, I’ll still remember all the ‘little people’ that have been with me since the beginning when I’m all rich and famous – after all, I’ll need someone to clean my ENORMOUS new house!