...That is the question. In this classic column, the Slipknot / Stone Sour frontman argues the pros and cons of life in 140 characters.
This feature originally appeared in issue 142 of Rock Sound (December 2010)
Twitter. Honestly, that’s all I really have to say to explain insanity.
140 characters available for texting whatever you want at any given time. Everyone from Daniel Tosh to FoolForDamnation has a Twitter account, joyfully tweeting at random and sending it into the universe. It is funny and angry and confusing. It’s also very addictive.
I’ve only had my Twitter account for a short while now, and I have to say that the things that come out of people’s fingers are fairly intense. I’ve been called everything from ‘God’ to ‘sellout’, by everyone from moms to kids, in several different languages. You’ve got to love the power of anonymity and I would never take ‘The Voice’ away from the masses, but come on… you people can do better than that. At least complain about the way I dress.
I have used the power of the tweet to say random and dumb shit, for the most part. I have boycotted the sun, dedicated a day to celebrate bacon and posted one of the worst and most insipid jokes of all time. Want to hear it? Okay: what do you get when you cross a penis and a potato? A DICTATOR! Right? I said right!?!
Yeah, that was pretty much the same reaction I got online…
What I really love about Twitter is the patchwork of networking you can achieve with one message, which can spread like wildfire across an electric landscape in a matter of seconds. I have a campaign going on right now to keep the TV show Supernatural on the air. I don’t even know if that show is being cancelled, I just don’t want it to end. It is fantastic. If you haven’t seen this show, smack yourself in the face with a flyswatter – you should be ashamed of yourself. It’s amazing… WATCH IT.
Plus, you can follow famous people. I’m following the aforementioned Mr Tosh, Scott Ian and Lzzy Hale. Sure, I’m friends with two-thirds of that list, but STILL… it’s cool to get a glimpse of what the hell is going through their heads at spontaneous moments during the day. I could post a recipe for carrot cake in Lithuanian right now if I wanted to. That’s the beauty of Twitter: it makes me want to learn another language I can cook in.
At the end of the day, Twitter is just another way to keep us entertained and up-to-date. It feels good knowing you can jump online at any time and there will be somebody there. In the past, if you jumped on a message board or a live blog, it was like Russian roulette – you never really knew what was going to happen or if anyone would be around to see it. But Twitter is ALWAYS open, 24/7, and it’s just begging for information. To tweet or not to tweet… that is the question.
What do you do with 140 characters? That’s not nearly enough. That’s why I want to campaign to raise the number you can type with from 140 to 2011. I know, that’s an odd number, numerically and intellectually, but I think it’s perfect. Think about it: I could publish my NEXT book exclusively on Twitter. I could wax poetic for hours with 2011 characters. I mean, I am the Great Big Mouth, of course. How big can my mouth really be with only 140 characters? Maybe we can campaign for Twitter Plus? Give us more so we can SAY more? I know ALL of you would like a little more room to say things like ‘God’ or ‘sellout’. And who would I be if I didn’t try to enable your sick and wonderful compulsions?
It’s funny: I swore off the internet six years ago when I deleted my Myspace account. Now I’m tweeting like a champ and following random people at… well, at random really. Why? Because I have finally realised it is fun. I have fun talking to everyone. It’s a blast. Some of the shit that comes out of your mouths is ridiculous. And who would I be besides a crass, overzealous prick if I didn’t laugh at your expense sometimes? I will take this tool… and bend it to my will.
Here’s a little fun fact: do you know what I like to do when I take a bath? Well, I fill the tub up really full, light some scented candles from Bed, Bath And Beyond – preferably something that smells like Autumn or Halloween – strip down, slip into the water slowly to savor the sensation, then I…
Sorry. All out of characters…
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