The Italian Grand Prix, by Hook or by Twitter

Today I sort of unwittingly followed the Italian GP by Twitter. Turns out, Twitter can be a fantastic way to keep up with an event you can’t otherwise watch. Who knew? Well, you probably did, but I didn’t.

I say this was unwitting, because the dogs woke me up around 7 a.m. (drat!), and I checked my phone in a semi-conscious state. I follow a number of racing teams on Twitter (shocker), and saw that Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza was running at that very moment (it being mid-afternoon in Italy). This is the part where you start wondering why I didn’t turn on the TV, since one or more American networks do televise F1. Well, I don’t have TV. You can judge, but I don’t care.

And I didn’t need TV anyway. Instead, I had the Mercedes AMG team’s Twitter feed. And it was riveting! So, I curled up in bed with my iPhone, refreshing my Twitter feed every 30 seconds or so. Frankly, I was surprised by how enjoyable it was to follow the race that way. Few images, but there is something so much more compelling about receiving little dispatches straight from the paddock, rather than watching the race on TV and listening to innocuous commentators (and dealing with commercials). Plus, Mercedes AMG’s little Tweeter, whomever he or she may be, is sublimely witty and refreshingly positive. F1 star Lewis Hamilton drives for Mercedes, and ran into some trouble in qualifying, putting him in 12th position at the start. Despite the challenges, the Mercedes team was so upbeat and so supportive of Hamilton and his teammate, Nico Rosberg, who did well. It was completely enjoyable to follow the race through their eyes and feel like a tiny part of a whole-hearted effort.

I know, seriously? It is just Twitter. Still, it’s impressive how interactive that weird social media platform is. I wouldn’t have thunk it before today. I hate to admit it, but I am giving serious consideration to the idea that Twitter could be an art form. Maybe.

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