Twitter is either the greatest and most important communication advancement of this era or the worst thing in the world that should be shut down immediately and thrown into the sea, depending on which seven or eight tweets you are seeing in your feed at any given time.
But just like the telegraph, radio, television and even the large thing we simply call “the internet,” Twitter and other forms of social media are of course just tools that amplify messages. They illustrate the best and worst of human nature. Twitter just happens to do it for a much larger audience and in much faster way than previous mechanisms.
Drinking from the Twitter fire hose instead of consuming our messages in sips has its up and downs, but I wouldn’t trade the good and weird parts of Twitter for anything.
This includes, most definitely, Wednesday night. The Cleveland Indians, the prohibitive preseason Central Division favorites who fell far behind the fast-starting Twins before slowly and steadily moving back to nipping-at-the-heels territory, defeated the Tigers on Wednesday. This was Cleveland’s fourth win in a row, and coupled with the afternoon meltdown at Target Field helped shrink the Twins’ lead in the division to just four games — the smallest it has been at any point since May 14, the good old days two months ago when Twins fans were ecstatic that the lead was so large.
The official Cleveland team Twitter account posted an excellent Tweet that, to someone over here, seemed like a subtle dig at Minnesota. It read: “OPE. Can we just squeeze by ya and grab our fourth straight?”
So as someone who likes to have a little fun on Twitter dot com, I called them out on it. And thus a … conversation was born.
Now … maybe in Minnesota we’ve simply been conditioned to believe that we have a singular monopoly on the non-word “ope,” which many of us clumsily and reflexively say when we walk in front of someone or drop lutefisk on the ground.
That was the sentiment whoever runs the Cleveland account seemed to be volleying back — that “ope” is an Ohio thing, too, and that Cleveland is in the Midwest.
What constitutes the Midwest is something you could spend the rest of the week debating. But here’s what I know: Matt Wells, one of the original readers/commenters on this here blog, is one of the only people I know from Cleveland and his therefore my go-to Cleveland expert.
Matt, do people from Cleveland say “ope.”
Your witness, counselor.
But the larger point is this: These silly little dust-ups (the Cleveland account and I quickly made peace, from whatever place of faux-tension once existed) are part of Twitter’s appeal — or at least they were, to a greater extent, before every tweet was a serious commentary on our political dumpster fire or a scorching take about how good or bad our sports teams and players are.
Maybe the response from Cleveland, too, was indicative of a genuine rivalry brewing this summer. A legit division race wouldn’t do much for the nerves of any Minnesota fans, but as someone who roots for the story above all else it would be a lot more interesting than the alternatives of a blowout in either direction.
Ope! You don’t think so? Maybe we’ll just have to agree to disagree.