To those of us compelled to log our every thought, upload photos of every meal and pass along every meme Twitter has to offer, here’s something to ponder: the late Stephen Hawking tweeted just 10 times.
The physicist, author and professor of unparalleled brilliance died early Wednesday at 76 at his home in England. In August 2010 he joined the social media platform that many celebrities, journalists and politicians find addictive and apparently found it quite resistible.
“Finally completed my theoretical astronomy doctorate at Trinity Hall, Cambridge,” read his first tweet, posted in October 2010. “I’m very excited to begin my research with my new grant.”
He posted messages from then through December 2010 and amassed a following of more than 100,000 but followed only 15 other accounts, some of which appear to be bots.
“To my amazement, I have discovered that black holes can leak particles of energy into space and even explode under certain circumstances,” he posted in November 2010. The message was retweeted 303 times and liked 919. For comparison, a tweet Kendall Jenner posted last week, consisting of two pictures showing her talking on the phone, was retweeted 16,000 times and liked 137,000.
Hawking is a trending topic on Twitter today, with users famous and otherwise hailing his extraordinary intellect and puckish sense of humor.
Hawking’s last tweet, posted in December 2010, had an air of finality: