Connections: Tweety Bird

    Who is Shear Ozeri and why would I want to follow her on Twitter? The reason I ask is that Twitter thinks I would. Never mind, I can look her up on Google if I really want to know. The question arose when I got the following e-mail: “We’ve missed you on Twitter, Helen S. Rattray.”
    I had only been to Twitter once, so I was flattered. I clicked to find out what else it had to say. After all, Twitter has helped topple repressive governments, hasn’t it? Who was I to ignore it? That’s where Ms. Ozeri came in.
    She was among three “people” Twitter thought I might want to follow, the others being the White House and CNN News. I don’t know why Twitter picked them. I do know that Big Brother Internet has a way of keeping track of and letting marketers know the e-mails we send and Web sites we go to, but I had never met anyone named Shear Ozeri and don’t think I have ever corresponded with the White House or CNN News.
    Apparently, Twitter didn’t like my not having visited it since August — and that once was only because I clicked on a tweet, at the horse show’s Web site, about how the Hampton Classic Horse Show had taken down all its tents and postponed opening day because of Hurricane Irene. I gave myself a user name and put in a password and then tweeted the word (with an exclamation point) “whew!” It was the first time in a decade that The Star was not publishing a newsletter called The Daily Classic for the show, and, given the power failure and all the rain and wind, I was relieved.
    I’m something of a late starter — at least age-wise — at this Internet game, but my skills are improving. Spending a few days last weekend in my husband’s New York apartment, I decided to stop trying to figure out how to get where I wanted to go on the subway by looking at an old, tattered, fold-out map. Going to the computer, instead, I was successful. I used four different trains on three lines, transferring between two of them, and wound up exactly where I wanted to go, feeling a bit smug.
    I have been getting better at choosing the right search words to dig up information and articles (something kids today learn in, I suppose, second grade). To give an example, I had for a long time been in the habit of searching for things I might want to buy by entering their general category (“rain boots” or “vacuum bag”) and then clicking on the companies Google presented.
    I’ve finally realized that you can fine-tune the search by being absolutely specific. If I want another pair of Levi’s petite mid-rise jeans, well, I enter the brand, the size, and the style . . . and, presto, here are several outlets that have what I’m looking for, and without shipping charges.
    Back at my desk in East Hampton, I turned back to the Twitter question. Okay, so I looked up Shear Ozeri. But Google just directed me to . . . Twitter, where I read one of her tweets, a coarse remark about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s taste in women. Meanwhile, this column will be live on the Web by the end of the week; I wonder if Shear Ozeri will friend me on Facebook? Help. I think it’s time for a classic novel and a nice cup of Hu-Kwa.