Merwin: To Fish or “Tweet” About Fishing?

Do you tweet? I’m laughing as I write this, provoked by the ridiculous mental image of a guy in waders saying “tweet, tweet!” under his breath while casting in a river. But as it turns out, a lot of people do tweet to the extent that they are fans of Twitter–the latest micro- blogging Internet phenomenon.

I asked my kids, who are of course up on all the latest, if there was any reason why I should try Twitter or get involved in Facebook or anything else resembling social media. The question was related to fishing in that I wanted to know what the angling point of all that might be.

Fortunately, they said no, and I thus won’t have to further waste time that I don’t have to begin with. Having looked at various tweets and Facebook pages online, it does indeed seem like an insubstantial waste. Hey, I’ve got real fish to catch and real wood to cut, not to mention flesh-and-blood friends to speak with over coffee down at the general store. That doesn’t mean that I think some technology is bad as it relates to fishing. Far from it.

A cell phone is or would be handy if my truck or boat breaks down, and it allows a buddy to call me with news of a hot bite on a distant beach. And I get lots of current fishing news off the Internet. And years back I used to read three daily newspapers every morning– national, state, and local–that I now read electronically instead, which is easier and less expensive.

I can’t help but think that like most mass-social concoctions, on-line social media have grown beyond all reason. What might have started as a useful information exchange wound up blossoming much larger as a way for teenagers to gossip. It’s quite true that this and some other websites are useful angling tools in terms of the information exchanged. But tweet? I’ll be damned if I will….