I have to say that as soon as I started using Twitter, I really liked it. Very straightforward. You get 140 characters to say what’s going on and if any of it is interesting, people just might listen. When I had my own personal account, I followed more people than followed me.
Once I started my “branded version” I’m STILL following more people than are following me, but it’s a very different sort of interaction.
When I began with it, I’d read that “if you want people to follow you, you should follow them first.” Okay. Seemed reasonable. So, that’s what I started doing. Science, math, film and allied fields made apparant sense.
Unfortunately, when looking up “metric system” within Twitter the sad, frequent thread was (and I’ll go capture some right now) [Boldface was already in these.]
“WEED. Helping Americans learn the metric system. One gram at a time.”
“Drugs have taught an entire generation of American kids the metric system.”
There are too many of these types of comments to count. It’s a pathetic situation, in my opinion.
(Yeah, international trade uses the metric system and drugs are an international commodity. So, if you want to buy drugs you usually use the metric system.)
I also see that the also see that the Wall Street Journal (which I’ve been told by the Metric Maven, and another source, is anti-metric) DOES seem to be reveling in anti-metric sentiments. It tweeted (11/26/12) its story from November 24, “The metric system thwarts a new generation of American chefs“ with a link to its story titled “Cooking a Poundcake in a Metric Oven Is No Easy Task.”
To be fair, the article does capture the current situation when it relates: “The keepers of America’s metric flame are the roughly 300 members of the U.S. Metric Association. By most measures, their efforts in recent decades have failed.”
True enough about past efforts.
Though, I could suppose one could question the reason for running the article in the first place. Was Thanksgiving really a reason to point out the status of the metric system?), let alone retweeting it. Was it its most stellar piece of journalism that it needed to make sure it was not overlooked? I suspect it had hundreds of other articles it could have featured. (To view the original article, go to http://t.co/VJw8bisA)
It would also be easy to say that the piece was meant to attempt to make pro-metric folks look like eccentrics who really don’t know what the real world is like.
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
Perhaps someone is interested enough to write firstname.lastname@example.org to get his thoughts on the matter. I’d be interested in the answer.
But I digress.
What does make me happy is that there are so many organizations out there trying to improve our children’s education. Thank goodness. While most studies show that American students now lag behind those of other nations when it comes to math and science (this one posted on the American Psychological Association, http://www.apa.org/monitor/mar05/scores.aspx for math shows us in 24th place) means there is much room for improvement.
Unfortunately, I hit a ceiling with Twitter this week because it only allows me to follow 1,000 people. That makes me sad because I can only follow more people if more people follow me or I drop some of the ones I follow currently. I was pretty generous in the beginning, but now I’m going to need to cull folks so I can hold on to the more important ones. If I “unfollow” you, don’t take offense. Know that my heart is in the right place.
Of course, I would have more followers if I’d kept all those scantly-clad women with statistics like: Tweets: 0, Following: 463, Followers: 30. Thank you, no.
Two things kind of surprised me as I started down this road. First, there is a lot of interest on the subject of the metric system in England. The U.K. Metric Association started retweeting me right away. Frankly, I thought our metric status would be of interest mostly to us U.S.-types.
Second, about half of the people following me found me first. There are lots of ways to find people to follow, but somehow these folks approached me.
I thank everyone who follows this on Twitter and while my ability to post things (I do try to make them somewhat interesting after all. Drivel is easy. Interesting is harder.) waxes and wanes depending on workload. I’m learning interesting things from it.
Thanks for your kind attention. (It would have taken more than 500 tweets to relate all that!)