Retweet (v.)

Posted: Dec 31, 2010 12:00 AM

I don't own an iPod or an iPad. I've never used TiVo or Wii. I haven't got GPS in my car, Blu-Ray in my living room, or a smartphone in my pocket.

But I tweet.

It may seem odd that an "urban Amish" type like me has embraced Twitter, but I'm hardly alone in finding value in the ultrabrief bursts of information -- tweets and retweets -- that Twitterers share. Back in January, there were around 75 million Twitter users. Twelve months later -- thanks in part to Tiger Woods, the Dalai Lama, and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, all of whom joined Twitter in 2010 -- that number is at 175 million, and climbing.

Senator Harry Reid uses Twitter to send messages to Lady Gaga. Thomas Friedman believes that the revolution will be Twittered. Not me. I like Twitter because it enables me to comment on topics that are worth an observation but not a column.

Because even a short wade in the Twitter stream serendipitously leads me to interesting places I might never otherwise have encountered.

Because Twitter is like a crowded global bulletin board on which I can read messages from an unparalleled diversity of users.

And -- best of all -- because all of it happens in 140 characters or fewer.

On Twitter, brevity is the soul of wit -- and of everything else. In a world of endless e-blather and information overload, such digital terseness is just too good to pass up. Even for someone as low-tech as me.