Ten Times Twitter Actually Makes Sense - 10/16/09
Let’s be honest: Twitter is usually a huge waste of time. Not that wasting time is a bad thing; we humans need and love our recreation, it’s just that we already have tons of other ways to fritter away our lives besides reading text messages that say “OMG, I totes just had the most delish english muffn for brekky! Nom nom!”

But notice, I said Twitter is USUALLY a huge waste of time. There are, believe it or not, a handful of situations in which Twitter could come in incredibly handy, although most of these are sadly under-utilized, and some of them probably illegal. Here are a few situations in which I could see that eyeless, soulless blue bird actually being extremely useful (besides spreading fake news and malicious rumors, of course):

1) Taco/Ice Cream Truck
SeniorBurrito Taco Truck @ Rose & Lincoln, 1pm-2pm. Free guac with order of Secret Meat Burrito! #chalupa
The nature of Twitter is that you can send information to a lot of people immediately, without having planned for it ahead of time (or else you could just post it online), and nothing appeals to these nomadic laws like Taco Trucks. Ice Cream drivers tend to be a little less predictable (and are usually just out of prison on something kiddie-related), but even if they don’t use Twitter themselves, their young customers could use it to let all the other kids in the neighborhood know that a sugar-fix is afoot. You know, instead of screaming “ICE CREAM MAAAAAAN!!!!” Because lord knows all 6-year-olds have Sidekicks these days anyway.

2) Riots
anarchymonger74 R10t & l00ting @ Century & Verm0nt! Im in ur liquor store, stealing ur booze...
Talk about the ideal situation for wanting to let a lot of people what’s going on right this second. I’m not sure what kind of person you are who’s always just ‘around’ when a riot breaks out (probably a pretty awesome person), but I’m sure that everyone else wants to know who’s setting cars on fire where so they can get there too. And I mean get there right away, when there’s still good stuff to be looted, before all the news vans and morons get there. Granted, if you show up to a riot you’re probably a moron regardless, but at least you can be one of the tech-savvy, Twitter morons who gets their early enough to have a decent shot at a new Blackberry from Radioshack before it burns down.

3) Traffic Alerts/Accidents
LAGridLocke Motorcycle pwned by semi. Body parts everywhere. Avoid the 405.
Sure, there are colorful bars on Google maps for accidents and traffic, but we've all experienced times when these are annoyingly inaccurate. And there are radio updates, but it's not often they mention the highway you’re about to merge onto soon enough for you to do something about it? I don’t know about you, but I would absolutely follow anyone who Twittered about the 405 whenever they were on it, reporting its status a “Total trainwreck,” “trainwreck,” or the rarely seen “almost drivable.” This could also be great if you’re a sick tourist who wants to see gory accidents, so you can go sit in front of it and gawk and further piss everyone off.

4) Dipping
TruantThereforeCool 11pm – Huge p00l at 1431 Maple. Bring bikes. Also bring eggs for neighbor’s house.
If you haven’t heard, “Dipping” is the new British teen craze of looking on Google Earth for someone’s big outdoor pool, then telling all your friends when to meet there, hop the fence, and have yourselves an impromptu late-night trespassing pool party. Those wacky Brits are already using Facebook and Bebo for this – why not get Twitter involved as well? With easy mass-texting, you add the ability to make on-the-fly Dipping updates, in case your plans need to change: “No go on Maple – huge Doberman in yard.”

5) Last Minute Concert/Show/Airplane Seats
WilternTheatre 9pm: My Chemical Romance show, $20, 100 seats left! 8:45pm: beware Emo stampede at Wilshire/Western
I’m surprised more companies aren’t using this already. It’s 5pm. Phantom of the Opera starts at 7. You’re the Box Office manager and you’ve still got 200 seats left. Why not Twitter this info to all the people interested to know, who’re following you at lastminutebroadway@twitter and unload your left-overs for discounts? Or you’ve got 15 empty seats left on an LAX to Vegas flight, and it’s three hours before take-off. As much as it’s nice to make people plan in advance and pay full price for tickets, it’s nicer to have asses in seats.

6) Garage Sales
Garage$ale$pringfield 2905 Carnegie, extended until 3pm! Great kids’ stuff and antiques, not yet picked over by old ladies.
They already have a garage sale section on many newspaper sites and on Craigslist, but what about what kind of shit is left? Because nothing sucks more than driving your pickup 20 miles to a garage sale advertising a new ping pong table only to find out that it’s gone/broken/expensive/actually an air hockey table. Only problem with this plan is that the Venn Diagram of people use both use Twitter and shop at garage sales probably looks something like this:

7) Orgies
GeorgyOrgyPuddingPie Orgy @ Rob’s, ratio 3:2. Could use more females…
Again, you can plan an orgy ahead of time, but most good orgies just kind of happen, and wouldn’t you want your pervert friends to get in on the fun (or maybe you don’t). Also good for Tweeting the details of the orgy: what the ratio’s like, if it’s all ugly chicks, if any furries are involved, etc.

8) Severe Weather
MotherFNature LOLZ Topeka, theres a bigass tornado headin yur way! #insurance
Again, a TV can tell me about a hurricane, but what if I’m not by a TV? What if I’m, like, outside, where knowing whether I’m about to be sucked up into a twister is pretty critical? I can also see the benefit of constant updates to my cell phone about how high, exactly, the tsunami headed towards my house is, or where, precisely, the earth has opened up its gaping maw and is swallowing cars.

9) Stock Market Tips
trustme Twitter stock diving. Sell now.
Two words: inside trading. But it doesn’t just have to be someone on the stock floor, Tweeting out Nasdaq tips the second they happen – I wouldn’t even mind daily updates from investment experts. They probably already have this. Hell, if this got big enough, stock analysts could influence market trends and create self-fulfilling investment tips with the flick of a Tweet.

10) After-Parties
BeachSceneLateNight A.P. @ 424 Hermosa, Apt 423. If you’re not bringing beer, vag or rockband, don’t bother
This, I submit, is the ultimate social use for Twitter. How many times has the bar thrown you out before you’re done partying, but you’re having trouble getting organized enough/securing beer/finding enough girls for an after-party? Just head home and Twitter to everyone else pouring out of every other bar that the party’s at your place, y’all! Who knows? Play your cards right, and maybe your after party right turns into the aforementioned orgy. And if it doesn’t work, at least you’re Twittering, and pretending you have more friends than you actually do.

See this post at Manolith.com!



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