THE BLOG
02/04/2013 12:54 pm ET

What It Was Like To Watch The Super Bowl Without Twitter

It wasn't necessarily a conscious decision.

But as the Super Bowl began, I was scurrying off a train in Manhattan to get to my destination without missing too much of the game, so I didn't have a chance to check Twitter.

When I arrived, I found two of my favorite people in the world and wings (being from Buffalo, an annual tradition on Super Bowl Sunday).

From there, real life took over. Conversation. Laughs. Opinions on commercials. Family stories. Food, of course, some wine, and watching the game.

What else would I rather be doing? This was quality time with good people, good company.

And so, the entire night went like this. No phones. No Twitter. No Facebook.

As someone who has spent the last few Super Bowls, and dozens of major events in recent memory, with Twitter as a second-screen experience, it was a bit strange at first. There were a few times I was tempted to check what my Twitter timeline was saying, like when Beyoncé was performing and when the power outage took place. But instead, I turned to conversation with human beings right in front of me. In the end, I felt that was a wise decision.

There was noticeably less noise without Twitter, less information overload. I could just enjoy the game, with good company, in peace. It was like the old days - some of those Super Bowls growing up I'd rather forget, being from Buffalo, but you get my point.

I did check Twitter before the game. The timeline had warped to practically all Super Bowl. It was moving so quickly. I noticed that there were way too many people talking and not enough listening. At one point I thought, what could I possibly contribute to this rapid stream?

That probably had a part in my ultimately passing on Twitter this year. My brain is often hyperactive as I check Twitter often, every day, as part of my job as a journalist. It was nice to give it a rest and have an enjoyable evening "IRL" as they say.

When the game concluded, my real life intertwined with the real lives of others, spilling into the streets of New York. As I departed my Super Bowl gathering, and headed home, there were dozens of giddy fans adorned in Ravens jerseys, slow-moving folks with 49ers gear, and countless others in casual attire or wearing merchandise for other NFL teams.

Even without Twitter, the shared experience was there. Conversations and laughs between strangers were had on the crowded subway. Retweets perhaps in the form of smiles or whispering from one person to the next a humorous quip on the other side of the car. Replies when strangers chimed in with responses. It was a good night.

I did ask my Twitter friends later, "What did I miss?"

My friend Adrian Carrasquillo said it was "one of the most fun social events I've ever seen," and there were responses about tweets during the blackout. Another friend Alex Howard sent a roundup of hilarious tweets. I don't doubt those on Twitter had a good time - this article even declared Twitter the winner of the Super Bowl - but I enjoyed my unique experience.

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