A little birdie told me …

Life in the Matrix

@DailyCalReaders: I wish I could keep this to just one sentence. #ThingsWomenWant.

Last week I offered my downloadable service as a shaman for your digital adventures. Thank you for supporting @TonyJesus. Your free trial has 10 columns left. At the end, you will be asked to complete a customer satisfaction survey. If you complete the survey, I will have all the information I need to steal your identity.

Today I entice you, link-by-link, to get with the program, to tiptoe into the web ocean, to start by exploring the shallowest of mental seas. This training exercise hones basic Internet skills such as link-clicking and hunt-and-peck typing. I’m not going to say anything too complex so you can follow me. I’m navigating the home of twits, 140 characters at a time.

Twitter is where egos beg to be stroked and careers ask for destruction; where new standards for inanity are set and bested; where celebrities go to affirm their celebrityhood, and noncelebrities go to do the same.

On Twitter you can feel like you are crewing w/ Lil Wayne, watching his life with illicit thrill. Here is Lil Wayne sk8’n in L.A. Now you’re at his mansion’s window, and Lil Weezy (excuse me: @LilTunechi) is calmly watching a basketball game on TV. The Lakers just scored, and @LilTunechi is jumping up and down! What are you doing here outside his window? After about an hour of fake peeping, you feel some very real shame.

Twitter is the messenger pigeon’s ghostly vengeance. Some products and services are manageable whether or not they are digitally provided, such as maps. But personally directed short-form communication a la Twitter is unique to computers. Its medieval precedent just wasn’t that efficient. A system of hundreds of individually trained birds clouded the skies, the birds catastrophically crashing into each other midair, dying in droves. Hard to train your pigeon to travel far: You couldn’t tell anyone from the next village about your beer trough bash. RSVP stood for Remaining Sky Versus Pigeon.

Now just punch your short message and release your maxim into the Twitterverse! Voila! On Twitter, we’re Oscar Wildes and Nietzsches in training, apprentices under Shaquille O’Neal and Justin Bieber! It’s all silly and fun and it’s about sharing cultural ideas and social media revolution and #YouClubbinTooHardWhen you think that instantly broadcast brain farts are consequential in any way.

#BigMistake. Twitter is a global forum for future prophets and jesters, as well as for village idiots and cretins, and if you show yourself as one of the latter, you must be prepared to face the consequences. No insurance plan in the world will save Gilbert Gottfried’s career as a cantankerous canard from the insensitivity of his Tweets regarding Japan’s tsunami. When Hosni Mubarak was arraigned and talking heads on all the major media networks celebrated The First Twitter Revolution, Kenneth Cole went on the site to venture a guess that his spring fashion line, not Mubarak’s dictatorial repression, was the real cause for revolution. He was a little off on his guess, so his CEO resigned.

While I’m on the topic of Twit-slips, I suppose I should mention Twitter slip-outs. Members for members. The leader of the packin’ is the Weinerman — Representative Anthony Weiner of New York. He made a bid to become chairman of the House Committee of the Exterior when he posted a photo of his Bill Clinton Monument onto the Tweetosphere. For a representative of the public, he had a surprisingly narrow understanding of the definition of “public,” perhaps forgetting the “l” in the word. His 12-year career ended in fewer than 12 sentences — and inches. Then there were the Tweeted lewd photos of Jonjo Shelvey of Liverpool Football Club and of mixed martial artist Tito Ortiz, but given their workout routines, they must have felt more qualified to post than Congressman Weiner. At least they don’t vote on economic stimulus plans or appropriations bills.

My eye’s on you, Feb. 14; #relationshipsendbecause of this stuff. Don’t believe me? So long as you pay attention to Twitter, then you’d best pay attention to this story: Jennifer Aniston supposedly broke up with John Mayer because of his insatiable Twitter obsession. He was waiting on the world to change, every minute. The man was actually too “busy” with Twitter to spend time with Jennifer Aniston: Thus should end celebrity idolatry.

The average relationship doesn’t get this kind of publicity and is generally too precious to forfeit due to a Tweeting habit. Nonetheless, Twitter is a sounding board for the lovelorn. Those still picking up the pieces of their broken heart post-Valentine’s Day can find solace in Twitterbreakups.com’s live feed. It’s guaranteed to cheer you up.

The chirping bird is an apt metaphor for the Twitter user because the site encourages a fluttering and ephemeral attention span. It allows for endless scrolling up-and-down and side-to-side movement to new branches of the web. It’s a virtual aviary where ideas and phrases chime in from all sides and lure you to and fro. And even if you’re a humble scavenger fowl of the lower canopy, you can hear the exotic calls of the high-flying birds above and can imagine how it must be to live at the top of the social hierarchy. But never forget, idle Tweeters: You are in a zoo, and your crooning can be heard by the keepers.