If I Must Tweet

Don’t look for me on Facebook, I’m not there.  No Twitter account either.  But don’t mistake me for a Luddite, I have my iPhone as my defence… and the Apps for all the social networking sites ready to install.

Truth is, I have no need to lure a million followers.  If there isn’t such a phrase, let me coin it now: ‘Cyber Crowd Phobia’.  I think I have that… or ‘Cyber Agoraphobia’ will work too.  Why would I want to announce to the world what I have for breakfast?  No, I will not fall into the trap of offering free advertising for cereal companies.  Really, who’d care that I’m still having indigestion from last night’s chow mein?

Further, with the limit of just 140 characters to tweet, the message I send must be of prime importance, no verbiage whatsoever.  I can’t think of any such occasions where I need to reveal my predicament publicly except maybe in emergency situations like:

“Having a heart attack! Safeway check-out 5. Call 911!”

or this:

“AAAAARH! Chased by #zombie chickens! @oh dear, oh! Thanks!!”

Less than 60 characters, so I can call out twice.

Ok, seriously,  if I must tweet, I’d probably be tweeting quotes.

Quotes are one-liners, pearls of wisdom.  I know, I know… not all are pearls, but, gems can still be found.  And they fit right in the endurance level of Twitter.  Dense, sharp and swift, ideal for people on-the-go.

Thanks to Shoreacres, I’ve been thinking about quotable quotes after she left an ingenious one in her comment on my last post.  It speaks to those who fondly reminisce the good old days every time they watch the News on TV.  Here’s the line to ponder:

“Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect.”

Now, that gets me thinking about the future… simple quotes to tweet for all my followers.  A good quote for every hour of the day.

Let’s say, you’re struggling to get up in the morning, almost losing the battle.  Still lying in bed, you grab your iPhone and check your feeds. I have the best tweet for you, thanks to our modern sage, Woody Allen:

“80% of success is showing up.”

Hey, not bad for just 28 characters.  Showing up needs getting up… that’ll start your day.

Now you’re at the office, you just have a heated argument with your colleague.  As always, he’s wrong, and you’re  gravely mistreated.  But just at that moment, you stop and check your stream of tweets.  How timely,  there’s this piece of sound advice, yes, urging you in earnest from none other than Oscar Wilde himself:

“Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much.”

Ha… you win again.

Suddenly you hear your boss calling you.  Shucks!  You forgot all about the performance evaluation he wanted to discuss with you.  You start to panic, cold sweat, shortness of breath.  You instinctively get out your phone and check your tweets… Voila!  You’re in luck.  Here’s one just for you, from G.K. Chesterton, … no matter if you haven’t heard of him, just read this instant message:

“I believe in getting into hot water, it keeps you clean.”

Wonderful!  You’re all sweaty anyway.  Quotes on Twitter saves the day… again.

You get my idea… a timely tweet for every moment of your life.

I know how people love quotes.  The most viewed post on Ripple Effects is “Memorable Movie Love Quotes“.  That was for Valentine’s Day last year, now gathering more than 20,000 hits.  I still receive new ones every now and then from readers contributing to the list.

So this is my appeal to you all.  Send me your quotable quotes, 140 characters or less, so I can send them out should I open a Twitter account in the future.  Believe me, this could well be the most meaningful thing you do today, passing on words of wisdom.  And the world will thank you… some day.

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

11 thoughts on “If I Must Tweet”

  1. I started a Twitter account during the Iran vote phenom. I had to see what it was about. Haven’t tweeted since. I Facebook mostly to keep up on nieces and nephews. I love that. I would have no idea what they’re doing otherwise.

    This is a brilliant stupendous inspiring concept (how many words is that). Let’s see . . .

    One of my favorite Cinderella moments in literature, when Mr. Darcy says of Elizabeth:

    “But that was only when I first knew her, for it is many months since I have considered her as one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance.”

    But Elizabeth’s father saying this is quite wonderful too:

    “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?”


    Of course, many are using Twitter to receive news feeds and other up-to-date info, from businesses, organizations, and all sources… the sky’s the limit. Here though, I’m thinking on a personal level, and not as a recipient of tweets, but as a sender… What would give me the urgency to inform others about myself as I go about my daily routines?

    And hey, how cool is it to receive quotes from Darcy in the most unexpected moment. And brilliant, your quote is exactly 140 characters. So, Darcy, you’re in, welcome to Twitter!



  2. If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give. ~George MacDonald

    There is nothing, absolutely nothing
    Half so much worth doing
    As simply messing about in boats
    ~From The Wind in the Willows

    I hope these are 140 characters or less :0)


    Yes, they’ll do. Your first one just made it… and Linda (Shoreacres) would really love the second one.



  3. Ruth and I started Twitter at the same time, for the same reason. I’ve kept up with it, but use it only to “tweet” my new blog postings.

    I must admit my heart skipped a beat when I received notice that Gulf Coast Journal, a literary publication at the University of Houston, was following my Tweets. That alone’s enough to keep me tweeting my posts! But what I had for dinner or whether I got frustrated in the supermarket line? Not a chance…

    Here are two Twitter-friendly quotes for you from two of my favorites:

    “You can’t test courage cautiously” ~ Annie Dillard

    And this:

    “There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher” ~ Flannery O’Connor


    My supermarket tweet is not just frustration, but real case scenario…. I just thought Twitter would make one good emergency help dispatcher.

    You’re innovative, as always… Tweeting blog posts. And good for you to have a lit journal as a follower! And thanks for your contribution, the FO quote should be on every aspiring writer’s desk.



  4. Oh! ~ I’m glad you liked the quotation!

    And isn’t that pretty little twitterer your unidentified bird from your time in the country?

    Hey you’re just so sharp! Yes it is, and I found out later that it’s a barn swallow. Isn’t she a beauty?



  5. Fun post, Arti! 🙂

    And here’s a quote for you….

    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
    ~Henry David Thoreau~

    Hey thanks Shari, a tweet for everyone!



  6. loved this one. Unexpected, which makes it all the more humorous.
    Yes, tweet quotes idea! It’s perfect. And you have handily covered the ones I need for work.

    Would love to add to your list, but I can’t. think. of. anything. at. all. right. now!

    (really? are you gonna sign up for tweeting?) And I didn’t know you in Feb but will have to go back and look at your movie love quotes!


    The title says it … if I must tweet… don’t think I’ll sign up any time soon. And for the Valentine post, it’s from 2008. But you can just click on the link in my post to go there. Glad my sample tweets meet your need!



  7. I can’t keep up with it all! That’s my quote. Not very charming or witty.

    I just started texting because my adult children will respond to those. I do have a twitter account, but I only tweet about once a month. I don’t want to reveal that I rarely do anything more exciting than pick tomatoes and count my Monarch caterpillars.

    I love quotes, too. Thanks for these.


    How idyllic to send out tweets like: “Just picking tomatoes and counting Monarch butterflies.” You’ll be the envy of thousands!



  8. Oh, I love Ruth’s Austen quotes. You could go on and on with those 🙂 Here’s my contribution:

    You can’t have everything; where would you put it?


    What a timely quote for our present economic time. Thanks for your input!



  9. I seem to have better text conversations with the College Student than verbal ones (grr), but I do not and will not twit. Call me a Luddite. And after your visit to the window, all I can think of is Mr. Ramsay in To the Lighthouse: “On then, on to R…”

    See? Hopeless! But I had fun reading everybody else’s quotes.


    You’ve pointed me to a good source… how about this thought from Mrs. Ramsay:
    “But what have I done with my life?” — for the last tweet of the day…

    Thanks for your comment!



  10. See, the thing about Twitter is, you can tweet whatever you want to. Lots of people toss out quotes they like now and then so there is no reason you can’t get in on it too! 🙂

    My favorite mantra when people are being pig-headed about something:

    “With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine”


    Yes, I agree it’s certainly a versatile mode of communication. And… thanks for the great quote!



  11. “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Mark Twain

    Great post! Can’t say I’m “into” twitter, mostly coerced by another writer to find other writers thinking up short phrases about how they are or aren’t writing. Not so satisfying …


    From your quote, I don’t think MT would be a fan of Twitter… but, I’m sure some of his wisecracks can be turned into great tweets! Thanks for your contribution!



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