At the strong recommendation of my son, I opened a Twitter account about 3 weeks ago.
I wasn’t certain why I would do that. After all, I was very happy sitting at home, watching TV and trading stocks and options.
Occasionally, I’d actually work someplace in my professional capacity, but those occasions were becoming more and more rare.
But being unable to access the Methadone that my body so desperately needed, I’d become addicted to Twitter faster than I could tie a tourniquet.
It had all started innocently enough. My son told me that Twitter would be an additional great way to get word out that I had published a new book.
The first thrill didn’t come right away, but delayed gratification, like that in finding a $20 bill in the pocket of pants you haven’t worn for a year is especially sweet.
In this case, on the very first day after Tweeting, I had a significant, maybe coincidental uptick in online sales.
So curiousity and the need to try just once more took over rational thought.
The goal, and it quickly has taken over my life, was to get followers. People who would drink the Kool-Ade, but pay for the book, before they swallowed the deadly elixir.
More was better, and definitely the Tweeting fed on itself.
As opposed to Facebook, where I had an account, but proudly paraded the fact that I had no friends, this was completely different. I was able to withstand all of the insidious Facebook tentacles. I was strong and resolute, never letting it get hold of me. But this Twitter thing, it really was just different.
I was so busy reading, Tweeting, replying and retweeting, that I barely even noticed the nosedives that some of my favorites stocks were taking day in and out.
I wasn’t accustomed to seeing my holdings underperform, but this was a perfect storm of bad performance from the likes of Goldman Sachs, Freeport McMoran, Mosaic, Rio Tinto and Williams Sonoma.
Thank God I had my Twitter. I just kept fiddling with Twitter while my stocks burned.
Twitter has to be the most egalitarian place in the world. It’s amazing the varied social strata that have had an opportunity to throw their 140 letters at me.
More importantly, they got a share of my 140 spaces worth of wisdom.
As you age, and I have, you definitely become a creature of habit, but this new venture was more than enticing.
I already had an addictive personality and this took hold of me quickly.
Together with that addictive personality comes the realization that as you get older, you also get stuck in your ways, just another form of addiction. The addiction to not changing
My habits were CNBC and Comedy Central, albeit, I try to catch Brian Williams each night, while silently mourning the absence of Brokaw.
I have a number of favorite personalities on CNBC, as well as a number that have left.
My only real problem with CNBC was their unwillingness to have either Joe Kernan change the spelling of his name to “Quernan”, so that he and his cohorts, Becky Quick and Carl Quintinilla could be referred to as QQQ. Besides, how stock market friendly is that acronym?
I realized that was much easier than having Kernen, Kwick and Kuintinilla. I think that acronym was already taken.
Other than that, a few loud on air personalities were just background noise, with the exception of Kudlow, who always conjured up thoughts of “Shrill, baby, Shrill, whenever he came on air.
But still, I was a devoted watcher. Kernen, Greenberg, Griffeth and Pisani were all comforting and credible voices. For some reason, to me, Jim Cramer was also a voice of calm.
What I was unprepared for was the series of events that got me to watch a segment of FOX Business.
The Twitter stream got me to watch a Dennis Kneale piece on the controversy regarding a proposed Disney trademark on Navy SEALS.
That short segment, and my basic laziness, since my remote control person only works 6 days a week, had me staying tuned to FOX.
And then I got upset.
Why didn’t CNBC tell me that Liz Claman was still alive? And what had they done with Ted David.
As I stayed tuned, among the first things I noticed was that FOX actually had an anchor of color. There was more than red, green and paleface. As it turned out, though, he was only a guest, but I appreciated the gesture.
My first dilemma was at 3 PM. Claman versus Griffeth.
I feel so dirty. I stayed with FOX.
But that was nothing. I was soon to go on the high of a lifetime and then crash harder than this fragile frame could possibly withstand.
With all of the jokes about Saturday’s impending rapture, at about midnight, while I was watching the Letterman show, I decided to check my “Klout” score.
For those of you that don’t know Klout, it’s just another one of those derivitive Twitter entities. This one purportedly measures how important you are in the Twitersphere.
Using 4 basic measurements, ultimately your “Klout Style” is found in one of 16 squares in the 4×4 grid.
The ultimate place is in the upper right corner, Box #16. That makes you a “Celebrity. You know, people like Ashton Hutcher, Daniel Tosh and Charlie Sheen.
And then you had me. A Twitter newbie, I had after 3 weeks made it to “specialist”, in the #3 Box.
But at mid-night, it became clear that I was one of the remaining souls on Earth, not having joined my more deserving brethren in The Rapture.
How did I know that? All of a sudden, I was a “Celebrity”.
There I was in the #16 grid, with ny thumbnail surrounded by Jim Cramer, Larry Kudlow and my own son. Non-Rapture worthy, all of us, to be sure.
That Klout algorithm was incredible. Someehow it had already accounted for all of those previous Twitter users that had gone on to their great reward in the Heavens.
But rather than being saddened at being left behind, I just had my addiction reinforced. I wanted more. More Tweets, more retweets. I wanted to get to that non-existent #17.
My life had changed. I had followers, I had Klout.
But then the jokes on Twitter about the Rapture ended.
Was it because those left behind were saddened to be so, or was it something else.
No matter, I was a “Celebrity” basking in Twitter glory.
I was even thinking of IPO’ing my Box #16.
But then came the fall. It was brutal.
No Rapture Everyone right where they always were, and sure enough, I was a “Specialist” once again.
I don’t know if Cramer and Kudlow took their demotions as hard as I took mine, but then again, they didn’t fall as far and as hard as I would.
In the blink of an eye, I’d seen the Twiiter Klout heavens and then ate the dirt in its depths.
My poor son fell evcen further, but he’s an adult and on his own.
Yes, my life has changed. I want back at the top. I don’t care whether it takes CNBC, Fox or Bloomberg, but I’m getting there.