I know a lot of people don’t “get” Twitter. That’s not my issue. I get it. I understand how and why it’s useful (when done properly), and see examples every day of my blogging and beauty peers using it to great success. It’s just not for me.
Example: If I’m out doing something cool, I suddenly stop and think, “Wait, should I be tweeting this?” The answer is usually, “Well…yeah, I should…but I’m having a good time here. I’m in the moment. I don’t want to tweet.” But then I feel guilty–particularly if I’m traveling somewhere awesome or at a high-profile event–thinking that it’s just sheer laziness not to pull out my phone and update my followers. (“Olivia Wilde just said something hilarious!” “This shop is a must-visit when you’re in Montreal!” “Stubbs has the best BBQ in Austin!”)
So, I pull out my phone and do the update. Then I see something one of my Twitter friends wrote. Maybe I should comment on that, too. You know, just to keep the conversation going! Nobody likes a grouchy navel gazer! Next thing I know, I’ve been staring at my phone for 3 minutes and have completely missed the REAL WORLD happening right in front of me. (Scratch everything I just said if I’m at a beauty event, by the way, because there’s usually no REAL WORLD to speak of: everybody else also has their head down, buried in their smartphones, tweeting. Yay, technology.)
Change is inevitable, I know, so there’s really no use in bemoaning the fact that everybody is literally addicted to their iPhones and Crackberries and doesn’t give anything their full focus anymore (not even TV! Not even a lazy pursuit! Now it has to be live tweeted, so your friends elsewhere can also share in your moment of “OMG, can you believe what Serena just did?”) I can’t think about it too much, because it makes me so desperately worried for the attention spans of future generations–not to mention worried for my own sanity and intelligence–that I feel like getting my tubes tied.
I know it’s rich, a blogger bitching about tweeting. It’s not like I’m feeding the poor in Calcutta–I’m part of the social media problem. I understand this. Hell, I will probably tweet this damn post. (Gotta keep up with the @Jones!) Making my living in social media is what contributes to my sense of alienation on the issue, however. I’ve made my bed–now I have to lie in it, with the smart phone next to me on the pillow, red light blinking aggressively.
I fantasize about weaning myself off the metaphorical junk food: removing the Twitter app from my phone, deleting my Facebook account (you heard me), and “accidentally” losing my Blackberry. I’d still blog–after all, writing is writing, though I have also returned to pen and paper–but I also wouldn’t feel the pressure to advance my social media platform, make myself heard, field “Friend” Requests from people I’ve never met, and think of clever status updates to remind my friends that I Exist! I’m Having Fun! Life is Good!
Life is good. I’d just rather live it than tweet about it.