Forget-me-not / Three Ideas About Why Twitter

I’ve been away. The time now has come for truth.

A year ago I tried to plug in my writing career (whatever career that may be) to the internet as a response to the publication of GOODBYE CROCODILE and the advice that the cultivation of an online presence could directly correlate with higher numbers of sales for that collection of stories, which interested me, because cash money dollars. So I created this space, and a facebook page got made on my behalf, and I started a twitter account. Now I have the impression of an alternate school which says: we’re all whores, and twitter is our brothel.

So, I resurface. As ever, I ride the populist tide.

Of those three entities, the one I failed most with was (and remains) the Twitter. Here is my problem: I don’t know what Twitter is actually for. Out there in the bending glare of time are (say, political) events in which people have leveraged that platform to unify a voice, as voices are thusly unified in the acoustic (harmonic?) spaces of, (say), a church. Only big and, yeah, digital (digimal?).

In my mind the voice of Twitter is the white scream of a V2.

Like, Twitter isn’t for the Arab Spring, neither is it for reflections on feminine convexities. It may be for advertising.

Stay away? Yes, but also, How boring.

Looking at it there are all these values and modifiers, controls and variables. Quantifiable only through numbers of followers (which is a curious word, yes, to have been chosen, because chosen it was–but by whom? Followers. Has a religious zing.) Each element of each post (being: amount of characters used, hashtags affixed (themselves springs, creeks, and deltas of this river, to be tapped, even capped), twitpics attached, retweets harvested–) mutations each that bring us closer to null hypothesis.

What is a tweet, stripped of those variables? A tweet which uses each character as part of a whole structure? What is water kept out of the cycle? Is there a difference between what belongs in that space and what inhabits it? Is it possible to produce something meaningful in that space? Are we even meant to try?

So I am left with: I don’t know what Twitter is for. Or, more simply, whether it is for me. So I am doing the only thing I can do with it, which is to see what happens when I exist in it but also not in it. I am writing these:

Whether they are meaningful or not I don’t know. But I have come to understand that this is the way I reconcile whether I am in that space to sell books, or to piss into an ocean of piss, or to witness and respond to the digital and cultural landmass rising beneath our feet.

The only thing I’ll be doing on Twitter from here out is more like the above. Maybe lots or maybe five months apart or maybe never again. Maybe I’ll delete this post and the Twitter and all tomorrow. What then happens to Lee Hoyer?

You can, obviously, follow me. @conoriswriting.

Remember, kids, what your old pal Hal Incandenza says:

I am in here.


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