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The Back Tweets of Our Minds

twitter is just one big experiment into demonstrating the fragility of the human ego

Being a writer, one of my favorite hobbies is watching people. I like to see what they do, listen to them talk and otherwise gain insight on what my fellows on this planet are doing with their lives. I have stumbled on a facinating place to do this online- the Twitterverse.

She’s a compulsive liar, a pain addict, a cheater and a slut. Too bad she just so happens to be me.

For those of you who have not yet discovered Twitter, the concept is very simple. All you do is answer the question “What are you doing now?” in 140 characters or less. This is called a “tweet.” At its basest level, it is just a narrative of how people spend their days.

I’m sitting here beside my gorgeous girlfriend watching the SuperBowl. She has no idea that I plan on proposing to her this year.

Eventually tweets become more about feelings and attitudes than just a narrative. Twitter quickly turns into a catharsis. These more emotional tweets consist of things like “I hate going to work! My boss is a fucking dick!” and “Why did I stay out drinking tequila all night instead of studying for my math test.”

I can orally please myself, but girls I’m with find that disgusting.

Twitter becomes your confidant and your psychotherapist. As long as you have some means of accessing the Internet, you no longer have to internalize your feelings. Wife nagging you? Whip out the old cell phone and tweet “I hate her. I have for years. I hope she chokes on a chicken bone.” Now you feel better.

straight-jacket dude, you’ve burned me more than you’ll be able to pay for, and it’s coming out of your fake crazy ass tonight

This creates a fascinating environment. It’s quick and easy so tweets can be fired off without a chance to rethink them. It gets to be comfortable, even natural. The guard begins to drop.  Everyone becomes  a psychological exhibitionist.

I often twitter while sitting on the toilet at work. Doing it now LOL!

Thie is great for mental voyeurs such as myself. You get to peer into the psyches of others and see things you otherwise would be blind to. Perhaps see things you wish you hadn’t.

I was raped by someone when I was 8 years old. I have tried therapy but nothing helps the emotional pain.

Peeking into the windows of people’s lives becomes an obsession. You quickly determine that most people are not living the James Bond life. You see lots more “Taking the kids to school” and “I hate studying math” than you do “Going out to assassinate a mad genius who has nuclear launch codes.” This is the bulk of the tweets.

There aren’t any jobs right now. I am dropping credits so I can stay in school longer.

But when you venture into the backwaters, you can find things that make you feel normal no matter how nuts you may feel. I find learning I am not alone in either my mundane life or my insanity to be comforting.

I’m stalking a man online because I like his face and name. We’ve never even spoken. I know it’s pathetic but I can’t make myself stop

Sometimes I wonder if twitter gives us too clear of a view into the psyches of others. I ponder the possibility that it could make us paranoid to know what those around us are probably thinking. Is that nice lady with the three kids planning to drown them? Is the angry-looking man two ahead of you in line about to whip out an Uzi and spray everyone in sight? It’s better to believe people don’t think like that.

I worry the hole was not deep enough. What if it rains?

Note: these quotes are all actual tweets that I pulled off at random as I was writing this.

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One response to “The Back Tweets of Our Minds

  1. Mike Reed February 5, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    Great post – agree entirely, and have followed you as a result. Look forward to the tweets. Cheers, @mikebreed

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