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Saturday, October 22, 2016

“Surrender, Dorothy!” — the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz

“You can’t win, Rock!” — Mickey in Rocky III

“Resistance is futile!” — The Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation

That’s kind of how I feel right now, except that, unlike Dorothy, Rocky Balboa and Captain Picard, I’m throwing in the towel. Four years ago I made a vow. Now I’m here to break it.

“Today,” I wrote in 2009, “I make you a solemn promise: I will never Twitter you. Or is it tweet? I’m never sure.”

Four years later, I’ve resolved my noun/verb confusion. And I just tweeted you for the first time.

Some of you will wonder how this could be. You’ve been following me for years, you say.

Actually, you haven’t. You’ve been following somebody who’s been using my name (or, for all I know, using his own name) but you haven’t been following me. That hasn’t been possible ’til right now: @LeonardPittsJr1 just opened for business.

There is, I suppose, some consoling satisfaction to be found in the fact that I’ve kept this promise for four years, kept it through the nonstop eye rolling of my Twitter-happy youngest son, the relentless grilling of a roomful of college students struggling to comprehend why anyone would choose a life of such deprivation and the aggravation of an editor who asked me to tweet real-time reactions to a political convention — only to be told I could not.

I am not a Luddite (he said, somewhat defensively). I know a Luddite when I see one. My cousin (Fred Flintstone, I call him) was still using a rotary dial phone last I checked and has yet to send an email. He’s younger than me. That’s a Luddite.

I, by contrast, have an iPad, e-books, digital music and a cloud computing account. I am not a Luddite.

But what I am is a guy who thinks we as a society too often buy too uncritically into the idea of technology as salvation. New is not necessarily improved and having more ways to say a thing only equals more ways to create noise pollution if you have nothing to say.

  • Nancy McCarthy

    Pitts is not the last person to get a cell phone, I am. I finally cracked in the summer of 2000. I also did not get a CD player until 1996 and got a desktop computer in 1998.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    But, Leonard, Twitter is the preferred mode of communication for Sarah Palin. Even then, she has difficulty filling 140 characters with whatever random thought happens to occur. Of course, I am sure she, like Kim Kardashian, has people who do her actual Tweeting for her. Gee Twitter for Twits. Are you sure you want to be part of that group?