Rosemary Ganley The Peterborough Examiner August 5, 2021
Tweeting away without exactly understanding the technology is one thing I do for fun. Most of the technology I now use I have backed into, kicking and screaming.
Of course I didn’t grow up with it, as my grandchildren have done. They are so many generations ahead of me, they can no longer coach me effectively. Friend Faye Skitch does that.
I take a fallback position, choosing platforms I “get,” and ignoring others. Then going on serenely. I ignore Messenger and Spotify and mostly Instagram. TikTok too. Don’t want to encourage more of them.
As kids in the 1940's and ’50s in Kirkland Lake, we only had radio. Great invention, radio, still my favoured communications technology. I’ll fight to keep the CBC, no matter what.
Then in 1963, black and white television arrived. Exciting, though grainy. We could actually see singer Juliette, and Don Messer’s Jubilee. In those days, too, telephone booths were within handy distance. I miss them
Then came the World Wide Web with its promise to unite and inform all. We had no suspicion that it would also spread lies and venom so easily, and contribute to the weakening of civil discourse and democratic norms.
I was willing to adapt. At various high schools, I used overhead projectors and plenty of Gestetner copies. Ink all over the place. Teaching at Fleming College and expected to enter grades online, I spent hours in the office of the kind and patient Alana Callan getting tutored. (Part of the time, Alana, I was faking it and getting help from colleagues.)
I am still doing that, exploiting friends. This week Tony Minicola, my car person, came over because he heard I couldn’t get the GPS from my phone to show up on my car dashboard. He showed me that there is a USB port under the steering column.
Now Twitter I like. Short, succinct, often witty comments on the passing scene from bright people. If one maintains a small number of people to follow (for me, 281) and a small number of followers, (for me, 319), one can enjoy it.
I seldom post anything, but I respond to others and I keep learning a lot.
Last week in this space, I listed my recommended columnists to read. This week, here’s a list of Tweeters worth following.
Minister Catherine McKenna always posts little snippets of government news, and stories of her daily swims; Dr. Isaac Bogoch and Dr. David Fisman have emerged as sensible voices in the pandemic. Fisman, who says he is interested in “plagues and politics,” bravely takes on Doug Ford about his many lapses.
Regional representation is important. I follow Calgary journalist Max Fawcett who doesn’t let Jason Kenney get away with anything. There is also the sweetly sarcastic group, “Handmaids for Kenney,” and for environmental news, Seth Klein in Vancouver. An Indigenous voice is that of Kris Meloche in Amherstburg, though he sometimes goes overboard with criticism.
We must honour Anita Anand of Oakville, the procurement minister, who has served Canada so well getting vaccines. Gerald Butts, former assistant to the prime minister, contributes posts which range from political jibes to sports advisories. Rev. Michael Coren, is a progressive Toronto Anglican priest, once a conservative commentator. He attracts some angry responses, which he cheerfully demolishes. ”Carleton Deserves Better” takes on Pierre Poilievre who uses rants. In fairness, one has to follow Pierre.
American “must follows” include George Takei, who was once on Star Trek. He eviscerates Donald Trump, always good for the soul. There is also the “Lincoln Project.”
I bought the book, “Twitter for Dummies” up at Talize, and it says one should tweet four or five times a day. Well, no, that is a bit self-involved. But a couple of tweets a week will do it. One has 280 characters (the number of letters and spaces allowed in your message) to express oneself. And see if anyone in the world is listening.
"Gleanings" is Rosemary Ganley's new book. You can purchase directly from the author at at email@example.com or from >Amazon<