Poking around People.com one day while I was probably supposed to be working, I came across a “story” about the Simpson-Wentz family.
I use air-quotes around “story” because the gist of the article was that Pete Wentz was on tour with Fall Out Boy and Ashlee and their baby boy Bronx – wait for it – missed Pete. That’s all. A wife missed her husband while he was away on business. So why was this simple fact enough to warrant a shout-out on People’s homepage? Because of Twitter.
Ashlee “tweeted” (as the kids say) that she and “Bx” missed Pete so much, plus something about snuggling that I thought was TMI, and Pete tweeted back a misquoted line from Top Gun. People then reported more information from Ashlee’s Twitter page, about her trip to the salon to get her hair dyed.
Since when is this news?! She misses her husband and she dyed her hair and I wasted five minutes of my life reading about it. But with Twitter, the gossip mags can make a story out of it, because there’s automatically a trusted source close to the star – the star him or herself. I’m sort of dumbfounded by how many celebrities have embraced Twitter (are they celebtwities?), but when you think about it, it’s a way to promote themselves but also remain accessible –they can create and control their very own “Stars Are Just Like US” moments.
I have been avoiding joining Twitter for a while now, but I decided, for the sake of journalism, I would spend approximately two hours on the site, to see what “stories” I could find. You’re welcome.
The big man on Twitter campus is of course Ashton Kutcher, so I decided he was as good a starting place as any. Seems like he’s working today – a post about marketing, an announcement about new web projects from his production company. He’s heavy on the links, which is kind of annoying – I want to know what Kelso is doing, not what he wants me to read on the internet. About nineteen hours ago though, he was gettin’ philosophical: “If there ever was a second coming of Christ and some lady came up to you and was like ‘yo I'm Jesus’ would anybody believe her?” I like to think Jesus wouldn’t say “yo” but what do I know? Ashton made me think, which hurts my head, so I’ll move on to his wifey.
Seriously, someone needs to give Demi Moore work, because she is on this thing way too much. She even took the time to respond to someone who accused her of having an intern posting for her: “@gisher if you feel better thinking I have an intern posting for me then I wouldn't want to rain on your parade! we can call them a Twitern!” Oh, Demi! You and your Twitter puns! Also, I get that Twitter’s all about conserving characters, but anyone over the age of 14 shouldn’t use “U R” instead of simply typing the words “you” and “are.” Maybe Twitter users forty-plus can get 200 characters as a special senior-ish citizen bonus.
Hey John Mayer, what are you oversharing today? Alas, like Ashton, it seems as though he’s working – lots of mentions of songwriting and Coachella. Scrolling down, he had a couple clever observations, like, “I don't smoke pot anymore. I just pay a dude 50 bucks to come over, press lightly on my chest and tell me all my ideas are awesome.” Say what you will about how he (mis)treated Jen Aniston, but the dude is pretty funny.
One of the newest celebs to join Twitter is Oprah Winfrey. She’s only been on about one day at this point, so there are a couple tweets about her dogs, a workout, and canceling the Columbine show (probably a good call). Too early to tell Oprah’s Twitter personality, but she might have the mixture of personal and professional that I was looking for with Ellen DeGeneres. Her account is mostly used to promote her show with giveaways, web videos, and announcements. Come on, Ellen! You don’t have to get pictures-of-Demi’s-butt personal, but throw in a couple funny observations every now and again.
Moving on to the other Twitter power couple, Pete and Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, let’s see what the Missus is up to: Oh look, she misses Pete. What a surprise. And the baby misses him. And the dog (I think Rigby is a dog) misses him too. She also tweeted a few things to her sister and her mom. Surprisingly… normal? Do I actually like Ashlee Simpson now? Maybe my problem wasn’t with Ashlee and Pete tweeting to each other; it was the fact that People made a big deal out of it.
Speaking of the man of the house, I find Pete Wentz’s Twitter page confusing, to say the least. He thinks Seth Rogen and John Mayer are cool, there’s something going on with tight white shorts and rollerblades, and he went to see Gym Class Heroes the other night. That’s sort of my problem with Twitter (at least so far) – when a Twitter-er responds to someone else’s tweet, you can’t see what they’re responding to. For example, Pete said to Mark Hoppus, “as long as I get a tent and a port-a-potty.” Sounds like there’s a funny story behind that. Is there a way to see a tweet-to-tweet conversation? Sort of like wall-to-wall on Facebook? Also, why do everyone’s Tweetpics disappear so quickly? Wait a second – why do I care so much?
Twitter sucked me in! Not completely, but it did make me a little curious. In two hours, I didn’t find much that would constitute news, or even “news” but maybe People and the like have specific staff members that have been charged with becoming Twitter-literate (Twiterate!). That said, I don’t think I have the patience for it. It’s too confusing and high maintenance. But talk to me in a few months and I’m sure I’ll be tweeting with the best of them.