Twitter: life, boiled down to 140-character installments.
Now, I actually have a blast on Twitter because I know interesting folks there. At any given moment, I can be chatting with a goat, a cat, a bra... Even a few actual humans (I know-- what are the odds of that online?!)... And all in five different countries at once.
Plus-- for us Brevity-Challenged-- being forced to distill ideas down to a piddly 140 characters is just good practice.
But I was thinking--what if real life were more like Twitter? How would it go?
Well, first you'd have your LitTwits, the folks who choose famous quotes as their main Tweeting style.
STEVE: "Hey, Bob-- how ya doing today?"
BOB: "'I don't care to belong to any club who'd have me as a member.' -Groucho Marx."
STEVE: "Er, well, okay, there, Bob. Good to know! How's the wife?"
BOB: "'Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.' - Oscar Wilde"
STEVE: "Fighting again, eh? That's too bad."
Then there'd be the Helpful Resources people. You know, the people who always share the best articles and information? Only, it probably wouldn't have quite the same effect in person....
MARY: "@Alice Microsoft just released patch for firewall problem: http://www.tinyurl.com/entirelymadeup"
ALICE: "Er, okay, thanks, Mary. I'll just jot that down on the back of this roll of TP and check it out later, when I'm less... indisposed....
You can go now, Mary, I'm good...
Mary, I know you're still there... I can see your feet."
Of course, you'd have your OverTweeters-- folks who Tweet every thought that comes into their minds, no matter how trivial. This could be entertaining to watch, if it were extended into a face-to-face situation-- particularly a quiet room.
Picture a library common area. People are gathered around tables, studying in silence and...
"I just noticed. I have funny-shaped toes! LOL!"
Everyone looks up and stares at the speaker.
"They look like little piano key mallets. They DO! Plink plink plink!"
Eyebrows are raised. Heads are shaken. The image shrugged off. The room settles into silence again.
"My son has adenoids. Adenoids. That's a funny word, isn't it?"
More stares, glares.
"You know what's another funny word? Discombobulated. Also spinach."
By now, some people are getting up and leaving-- the real life equivalent of Unfollowing. But our Stream-of-Consciousness Sharer merrily shares on...
"I need to buy ice cream. What kind should I buy?"
Finally someone pipes up:
"You should buy yourself a big half-gallon of KeepItToYourselfLady. People are trying to concentrate around here."
And what about Re-Tweeting? That is, the Twitter-sharing of things the people you're following have just said. How would that work out in real life? Oh... I can see it now.
You're at a cocktail party. A small group of people are having a quiet little conversation. And then, four feet away, the guy next to them shouts:
"RT: @ByGeorge 'I'm using the Viagra but I wasn't expecting the side effects!'"
The cocktail party goes quiet. George's wife's goes bright red. George breaks away from the small group and slinks off to another room.
"Well... y'know... just in case you weren't following that discussion," the Retweeter explains.
So tell me, folks-- what's Tweeting you?