Talking To Yourself: The Invisible Tweeter
When I was just a wee high-schooler I got an internship (through quite a bit of nepotism) at a record label. This internship lasted only a week or two before I was let go. Apparently there was actually no work to be done there and they decided having too many interns was annoying. Anyways, that week or two was long enough for me to decide that my two bosses were pretty much the coolest people ever and I followed them on various social sites for a while. I mention this only because maybe a year after that one of my previous bosses was posting updates on an average of 5 per hour about something called “twittering.” At first I thought he was just incredibly excited or enthusiastic. After all, I was sure he led about the coolest life anyone could ever live. This shouldn’t have been a stretch. But day after day? And then he started declaring that twittering was the future. It took me about a year to find out what twittering really was and then probably another few months and the endorsement of various suicide girls (if you look at the history of the internet this should make complete sense) to convince me that I should be interested in checking it out. I know nonpretentious writers have been making excellent use of Twitter for a while now but I’ve really only considered it for personal use.
The first thing I realized when i signed into my twitter account was I don’t know anyone here. I can’t think of any real analogy. It wasn’t like walking into some awkward mixer party because at least everybody there should theoretically have something in common (going to a new school, job etc.) and it wasn’t like being in an empty room because TONS of people are twittering constantly. I quickly found a couple of people I was internet acquainted with and began following some of their friends who I deemed interesting but I was still left with the problem that no one was following me. What incentive should I have to post updates? The answer should be none. What rational person would talk about what they’re doing to no one? Apparently I am not a rational being because I discovered that I absolutely love twittering to myself. Of course, I like trying to be witty in @response to strangers but I’ve been having just as much fun examining my own actions. There’s something incredibly affirming about seeing your status in writing. Not just in writing I guess. I don’t think saving a word document would be very satisfying. Is it the possibility of people seeing it? Maybe that’s it. I think it is in some way tied to the minutiae of it.
When you get a phone call and someone asks you what you’re doing you have to say “oh nothing.” even though maybe you’re watching Venture Bros. commentaries and eating some popcorn. But on Twitter this is just the type of activity people are encouraged to write. We are supposed to revel in the little details of our day. The only problem I see with this system is that it implies that we have become so disconnected from those tiny details that we must take ourselves out of that moment and type up a virtual update to enjoy those tiny things. Instead of asking myself what the point of talking to no one is, it seems that my twitter experience has led me to the question “If I do something and no one sees me, does it mean anything?”
That said I’m still going to keep using Twitter. Give my tweets meaning.