Raise your hand if you L-O-V-E Twitter! Raise your hand if you despise Twitter more than you despise brussel sprouts and bad traffic! Regardless of how you feel about Twitter, we are going to discuss the hilarity that is the twitter-verse with a brief foray into the galaxy of Facebook status updates, though the two can be synonymous in this context.
Today at lunch, one of my fellow nerds posited this theory: that Twitter was nothing more than an imaginary friend. He has a point. Think about it. For many people, Twitter is a place to share funny or meaningful quotes, brief interesting or comical happenings in their day, complaints about poor service at a restaurant, celebrations of an awesome basketball game, questions about new products, updates on wars and revolutions, and in general information sharing and gathering. Information seems to range from true fact-based information to opinions to friendly shout-outs. But for the times when something funny / cool / hilarious / terrible / interesting happens and you just want to tell someone, Twitter is the perfect outlet. Because why choose just one friend with which to share this little tidbit of 140 character goodness? Why not share it with all 115 of your followers? And if you’re a celebrity, why not share it with all 356,177 followers? I am not here to argue the effectiveness or revolutionary-ness that Twitter provides for mass communication and promotion or publication. This is obviously a fact, one that has been proven time and again. How ya doin, newly liberated Egypt?
But for some, Twitter is also a place to help make oneself feel more important, popular, cool, hip, crazy, fashionable, forward-thinking, and/or all of the above, and/or any other complimentary adjective. It’s sort of like annoying post-New Year’s Eve status updates. “Apparently I had a great NYE…I remember nothing. I am that much cooler because I drank myself into oblivion! Party on!” Or “holy crap I’m so hungover. I <heart> NYE.” These updates are obnoxious. We get it, you partied your face off with the rest of America and most of the world to celebrate a new year. You are so original. Same goes for post-weekend tweets and status updates. “I lost my pants last night, must have been a good one.” Classy. Or “So many shawtys up in hur dey all on me” or some such nonsense. So you’re a hot pimp, congratulations. Drunk girls will hit on anything. Also it seems you skipped grade school grammar and spelling class…might want to do something about that. Or even better, “I’m in the grocery store, these fresh vegetables look delicious!” These kinds are so pointless. Firstly no one gives two craps that you’re at the grocery store. If you want to compliment a grocery store’s supply of veggies, at least tag them specifically and use Twitter as a utility to provide a customer rating on the fly. This is good use of technology. Giving the world a play-by-play of your daily errands is a waste of your time and everyone else’s.
The downside to all the check-out-what-cool-thing-I’m-doing-now tweets is that it rubs off on other people. I am not excluding myself from this. Friends of mine posting things like “Out with [friend 1] [friend 2]…[friend 25] at [insert super hip bar name here], awesome drink specials! [insert super fun pic]” only makes me think about the number of “cool” things I have posted recently. And it spirals out of control like so:
What if I don’t post enough about my social life? People might think I don’t do anything cool! But then people might not even read my updates! But what if they do read my updates and I only post awesomely cool things occasionally, then I will look like I only go out like once a year! But then why do I even care what people think of my social life?! I know I enjoy my social life! But I sort of want people to know I’m cool so they’ll want to hang out with me! Why is everyone always tagging others but not me?! Why do I never tag other people?! And why do none of the people I hang out with have Twitter so they can tag me in their updates?! Why do I care?! I don’t want to be annoying! I don’t want to be uncool!
It’s a Catch-22. You’re cool if you post a lot, you’re cool if you don’t post a lot. You’re uncool if you post too much, you’re uncool if you post nothing. Which is true? Which is untrue? Who knows. All I know is, I enjoy reading funny things on Twitter. I enjoy hilarious pictures my friends take when they’re out. If I can’t be there, it’s a neat way for me to sort of keep up with their awesome lives. I try to only post things that I imagine I would be willing to actually call/text and tell one or more friends. If I’d only call one friend, then I will specifically contact this person directly, rather than notify the entire interwebs of an inside joke that only one person will get. This is possibly the most annoying thing. Though I have noticed when someone tags me in an inside joke, I super love it. Why do we love sharing these little expressions of love for one person with all of Twitter? Is it really necessary? And doesn’t everyone who’s not in on the joke get annoyed to see these? And yet everyone also loves when they are included in something that they know only a select few number of people will understand?
This is life in the new age of everyone-connected-to-everyone-all-the-time. It makes us feel good about ourselves. It makes us feel bad about ourselves. It lets us effectively stalk boys we like. It lets us keep in touch with friends who are 3,000 miles away. It lets us connect with friends we haven’t seen in 2 years or 40 years. It makes me doubt my social life and love my whole life at the same time. You be you, and I’ll just keep laughing at all the jokes I don’t get.
And didn’t I tweet this so that people would see that I write a blog? Blogs are cool…therefore I am cool. Right? Hmm.