“I was up too late last night,” I thought to myself last Sunday morning. I overslept. Sleep deprivation seemed to be playing tricks on my mind.
It felt like I was wearing an invisible space helmet, and too much oxygen was being pumped in.
“Man was I aching,” my internal dialogue continued.
At this point you’re probably guessing that I had a hangover. Maybe you’d be half-right. But partying was not the problem.
It was my carpel tunnel that was throbbing. You see, I was actually “tweet” deprived. Twitter—the online messaging tool—was to blame for my lack of sleep.
It had been hours since I sat at my computer. While the rest of my house was fast asleep, I sat wide-eyed reading tweets (as Twitter messages are called).
What was New York Times columnist David Pogue’s favorite book as a kid? Who was rocker Colin Meloy of The Decemberists jamming with at 3 a.m.?
What a time-suck! And what was the point of it all? Was it just more chatter? A popularity contest? (Just like MySpace, Facebook and blogs, Twitter makes a big deal out of how many people are following your posts.)
As someone who writes for work and writes for fun—someone with four blogs already—did I really need to jump into this too?
And then it hit me…Maybe I could use Twitter to share one line poems! That sounded like fun. With a smirk on my face and a tingling in my carpel tunnel, I clicked out my first tweet: “As a musician, Einstein couldn’t keep time very well.”
“Aha!” I shouted to myself in the dark while my son snored in his adjacent room. No longer would I crack that twitter was for twits! I saw the light and once again, I was on board with the latest technological fad.
Next thing I knew I was looking up old friends, searching for interesting celebrities that twitter and signing up for New York Times news blasts.
By the time I finished setting up my cell phone to receive tweets, I knew there was no turning back.
But I don’t blame myself or feel any guilt. It’s not my fault that (at least for the moment) there is so much to love.
It’s downright noble that there’s so much fervor built upon words. Throw in the democratization that this DIY tool makes possible and who wouldn’t be hooked?
Why do I care what Poque’s favorite childhood book was? (“The White Mountains” by John Christopher.) I don’t know. But I do feel more connected to one of my favorite columnists when I read his tweets.
The great potential of Twitter is that we have once again invented another way of interacting with each other.
Will it be used in that regard, or just as a marketing tool? To me, that is going to make all the difference. For now, Twitter is connecting a lot of people.
It’s one more example of technology breaking down barriers and putting us all on a level playing field.