I awoke suddenly at 3:00 AM. Heart pounding. Soaked in sweat. Night terrors are nothing new to me: bad guys constantly break into my apartment to do me harm; snakes slither all over my bed. But this was different.
I dreamed I'd been on Twitter all day and that my Tweets were... boring. Rather than the witty asides I'd like to produce, I wrote things like:
"Off to the gym!"
"Could this line move any slower?"
"Hope I don't get bit by a dog today!"
The scariest thing about this nightmare? I'm not actually on Twitter. I don't, uh, tweet.
Somehow, though, the latest and greatest technological advance alerted me to the fact that I'm terrified of being mundane. I do not understand the allure of Twitter. I rank myself -- conservatively -- in the top five most entertaining people I've ever met. Yet, even I don't want to know what I am doing all day long; why the hell would I want to know what less interesting people are doing all day long?
Perhaps this illuminates a deeper issue for me: my hesitance to fully embrace the internet age. For instance, I refuse to type "LOL" under any circumstances aside from blogging about my refusal to type "LOL" or writing a sentence that includes the words "loll," "lollypop" or "lollygag." I am allergic to emoticons; women who overuse them risk relationship termination.
Speaking of which, I recently purged 20 "friends" from Facebook due to their excessive status updating. Twitter is to blame for much of it, of course; Tweets instantly appear on FB, too, thus ensuring that absolutely no one you know (and some you don't) will ever miss a thought of yours. But there are many other sources of blame. I will personally put two in the back of the head of the idiot who started "Mafia Wars." People who have never spent one second trying to figure out why they hate their mother suddenly can't get enough self-examination. Quiz-takers, beware! I do not care which rock bassist you are. Inform me of the results and you will be defriended. (Note: I did not take the "Who Would Play You in The Movie?" quiz, but I think it'd be Jake Gyllenhaal.)
When I told a friend -- both a real life and Facebook pal -- about my hatchet job, he gave me a confused smile. "Why didn't you just 'hide' them?" Instantly, I recalled the annoyingly ubiquitous "hide" icon that appeared whenever I moved my cursor above any status update. He explained that by clicking "hide" I can choose to never see updates from that friend or never see updates of the thing that annoys you me, i.e. quiz results.
I grimaced, feeling a lot like my technologically-challenged father. I'd ended FB friendships with 20 people due to my own stupidity. Funny thing? Only one of them has noticed I'd dumped them.
That should help me sleep better at night. ;-)
Follow Jamie Reidy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JamieReidy