Man, the Interwebs certainly has changed our lives since Al Gore got the idea all those years ago.
Now with Twitter and FaceBook, people know where you are. Every day. All the time.
They know what you’re doing, what you’re not doing, and what you should be doing. And, unless you’re fabricating a w-a-a-a-a-y more interesting life than you really have (and it happens right here in Romanceland, I believe) they know when you’re not exercising, not working, not sleeping, and not getting any.
We all make cute quips, witty observations, and seriously profound profundities. All in 140 characters or less.
I tweet (and sometimes I twit) about five times a day. Except when I don’t. I try to update my FaceBook page a few times a week. Except when I don’t.
But here’s the thing. I’m not always in the mood to make cute quips, witty observations, and seriously profound profundities. But there is relentless pressure on Twitter to do all those things.
I also spend way more time than I’m going to admit here reading tweets. I’ll get lost clicking from one person to another until I suddenly come to my senses and realize that an hour has passed. And often – and I know I’m not alone here – it’s an hour that somebody is paying me to be doing something else.
Garry Trudeau, whose brilliant tweets as Roland Hedley have now been collected in a book, deleted his Twitter account. From what I’ve read (and there’s not much out there on the subject), he got tired of the pressure.
He was the best and brightest of us. And he went down.
I understand where he’s coming from. I miss his freakin’ tweets, but I understand.
My point – and I really do have one – is that I think that we have segued way too far into Too Much Information Land. Everybody’s lives can’t be cute and peppy and adorable all the time. Sometimes you’re sick. Sometimes you’re depressed. Sometimes you’re angry. And sometimes you just don’t freakin’ feel like being cute. And forcing yourself to fake cute and wacky and funny and profound when you’re not feeling it can’t be a good thing.
We’ve always had to wear social masks. Now we’re expected to wear them 24 hours a day.
Sometimes you need to descend into a cave for a while. Unplugging can be a good thing. A really good thing. But it’s so far out of the realm of possibility for most of us, it’s not even funny.
And then there’s this: Sometimes you need to freakin’ forget that you have an audience.
The infamous case of the mom tweeting her son’s drowning death in near real time is just the saddest instance of someone seriously out of whack. When you are living virtually every moment of your life – and in many cases it’s gone that far – thinking about everything in terms of how to spin it into 140 character sound bites for your fans, your priorities need readjusting. Big time.
– Sandy AAR