I've always known that I have an addictive character trait. First, there is family history with alcohol and I was heading down that road when I was young and dumb and went to college for the first time. After I woke up in a closet upside down, I swore off hard liqueur and haven't touched it since. But the thing about addictive tendencies is that you can get addicted to anything. I was addicted to chatting on IRC and AOL back in the early 1990s. I know that I'm addicted to Coca-Cola and greasy foods. And there are other addictions I'd rather not talk about. Now I'm addicted to Twitter.
At first, Twitter was a means to an end. You can click a post you've just created and create a "tweet" that automatically puts a link to your new post on Twitter. I'm not about gaining "followers" like a lot of people are. I could care less really. I do care about attracting new readers, so that's why I created my account. But a funny thing happened. The first person I followed on Twitter was Nick Swisher. Nick Swisher!? Get out! I could actually get tweets from a real ball player? Yeah, even at my age, I'm still into hero worship. Sheesh.
But following players are actually quite boring. Swish likes to promote his charitable work and uses Twitter to do so. More power to him, that's great. But it's not really interesting. Curtis Granderson tweets things from his Yahoo Sports tear-off calendar or something and tweets birthdays of long lost players. Whuh? Logan Morrison of the Marlins can be interesting, but really young players like him and Austin Jackson are...well...young. So the glow has worn off quickly then.
No, the real juice for me is following the writers. There are writers with wit and those with sarcasm, but you get a glimpse in 140 character segments of who these people are that are what I aspire to be. Some are hysterical like Dan Szmborski (@DSzyborski). A morsel? One of his recent tweets: "I had a bad case of mono. But then I discovered one of the speakers was unplugged." Well, it was funny to me.
Keith Law will respond to fans, usually sarcastically since their questions are usually pretty dumb. The same can be said for Kevin Goldstein. But all of these wonderful writers are tweeting regularly and it's fascinating. Peter Gammons tweets. Imagine! One of my all time icons as a writer and there he is on Twitter. Joe Posnanski is on there. Jonah Keri and so many others. I just soak it in and dream. They always seem to have the right answers and the right way of looking at things. They cut through the BS and see the real stuff most of us miss. It's awesome.
I also enjoy working with my fellow BBA members, particularly those who are like me and striving for success. On Friday, everyone shares "followers." They call it #FF day which stands for Friday Follows or something or other. I do enjoy when one of my tweets gets retweeted. It's all so weird sounding, isn't it? That's how you know it's an addiction. But when someone retweets you (reposts your post so others can read it), it's sort of a thrill, especially when it's a known writer. Gawsh, I'm sounding like a groupie. And maybe I am. Except I don't want to sleep with these people. I just want to be where they are.
So now you know one of my dirty little secrets. I'm getting addicted to Twitter. But at least it's yet another way of losing sleep that doesn't make you have regrets in the morning.