Twitter Redux

So, after about two weeks on Twitter I’ve got slightly more than 140 followers. I had to remove one, who seemed to be a female porn star, though I suppose there are worse things than being followed by a female porn star. I’ve found, actually, that Twitter is surprisingly useful. During the recent shootings in Seattle I became a follower of the Seattle Police Department, and received updates on the manhunt that followed, and on subsequent police actions. A little creepy, though, to receive word today via Twitter that the Seattle Police Department “is following Sherman Alexie,” Sherman Alexie being of course the much-respected Seattle writer. I understand that’s just Twitter-speak, but still. Suppose one day Twitter were to alert me to the fact the CIA was “following Erik Larson.” Time to get out of town, I think.

I’m still trying to figure out what makes Twitter work, however. It is definitely diverting, and kind of fun, and at times truly informative (I follow NPR as well), but I do also wonder if I’m simply Tweeting into the abyss. Just in case I’m not, I have made myself a firm rule: No Tweeting after even a single glass of wine. Twitter and booze–therein lies the path to damnation.

And you can Tweet that if you like. Or follow me into the abyss: @exlarson

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Erik Larson is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, which examines how Winston Churchill and his “Secret Circle” went about surviving the German air campaign of 1940-41. Erik’s The Devil in the White City is set to be a Hulu limited series; his In the Garden of Beasts is under option by Tom Hanks, for a feature film. He recently published an audio-original ghost story, No One Goes Alone, which has been optioned by Netflix. Erik lives in Manhattan with his wife, who is a writer and retired neonatologist; they have three grown daughters.

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