Journalists everywhere – and I don’t really claim to be one, unless I need entry to a fancy party – seem to have grabbed on to Twitter with the enthusiasm of a pervert in a crowded bus. Every other headline now seems to contain the word ‘tweets’, as in, ‘Lalit Modi says Shilpa has a nice pair of tweets.’
For those of you still wearing animal pelts, let me explain that Twitter is a micro-blogging site that allows you to provide real-time updates about what body part you’re currently scratching, and even who that body part belongs to.
Of course, there’s a solid, journalistic reason for Twitter featuring prominently across media: Celebrities are using it. Twitter breaks down barriers between stars and commoners, and as you read the innermost thoughts of men and women considered to be demigods, you realise that these demigods were dropped on the head as babies. In fact, the ‘thud’ sound they made was so awesome that they were dropped again and again, and even used for free-kick practice.
Take, for example, Salman Khan who recently joined Twitter, which means he now mumbles and slurs his way through 140 characters. Now don’t get me wrong – I do like the man. He’s truly an international star, with an accent that’s part British, part American and part Bandra West. (Throw in some Afrikaans and you have the audio equivalent of a Benetton ad.)
His tweets, however, make as much sense as Sidhu after an acid trip. Have a look at this actual, untouched Salman tweet: Being human clothing line nt out yet , vil launch in 4 mnt,s , all fake,s out thr. Being human watche,s out in abt 2 mnt,s
Notice how the tweet reflects his personality, in that it looks as if the alphabets have drunk-driven themselves on to the page. (But Salman does serve an important function on Twitter – he makes Vaseline Boy Shahid Kapoor look literate in comparison.)
The point is, Twitter needs normal people to counter the barrage of celebrity droppings on the site. So sign up now. The following Twitter FAQ list should clear all doubts.
Q. Ok so I signed up for Twitter. Now what?
A. Your objective is essentially the same as that of any organised religion – to get more followers. Sex scandals are optional.
Q. How is Twitter different from Facebook?
A. It’s far easier to stalk people on Facebook.
Q. Will Twitter help me get laid?
A. Only if you can get Shashi Tharoor to follow you. Once that’s done, it won’t matter if you look like Shibu Soren – all the ladies will want to have an external affair with your minister, if you know what I mean.
Q. So SRK and Salman are on Twitter. What about Aamir?
A. He’s still trying to figure out the perfect username, and should be done in about a year or so.
Q. How do I respond if Shahrukh Khan actually replies to my tweet?
A. Play it cool. Never do what a top journalist – who we shall refer to as Darkha Butt – did and go “OMFG! SRK tweeted to me first LOLZZ!!11!”
Q. Hhhhnnnzzz v’rw snreeee mumble m in gym hw r u LOL.
A. Seriously Salman, stop tweeting.
(Note: This was my HT column dated 2nd May 2010.)