If Real Life Were Like Twitter

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?



Meghna said...

This was really funny, @Jenn_Thorson. You brought a real life situation out of 140 characters. This morning only I saw somebody tweeting that he signed a letter by @'him' :-)

I think I fall into the category of LitTwits, as all intelligent, know-all types are supposed to be :P

Signed: @MeghnaK

Unknown said...

Meghna- I always enjoy your lit quotes! I just would like to see what would happen if you tried communicating solely that way, say... around the dinner table. :)

Kelly Ann said...

LOL! I wonder if life were like twitter, if people would actually listen as much as they tweet.. :)

Unknown said...

Chica- I'm sure it'd depend on the Twitterers. The Stream of Consciousness Tweeters, probably not. But then, I suspect they might be similar in real life, as well. :)

Daisy said...

I have a Twitter friend who is a hermit crab. He says "click" a lot. I like him.

Unknown said...

Daisy- Ah, Hermit crabs can be just lovely folks-- I knew a few well in my childhood. I had no idea any Twittered, though! Can't be too easy to type with claws.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

My shoes smell like something died in them.

Ha. Ha. Just wanted to mention that. Because I'm one of those tweeters. :-)

Hey, have to share - my brother's computer is down and he's been going to the library to try to catch up on his blogs. He's whining to me about how the stupid parental protection thing at the library is blocking certain blogs.

"I mean...I can't even get Cabbages and Kings..."

It was like a huge crisis to him.

Just thought I'd share. :-) That means 1) Unfinished Rambler misses you and 2) your blog is being blocked by parental controls! :-)

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

@Jenn Holy crap! I just noticed I'm on your blog roll! *blush* I'm not cool enough to be up there! But thank you!

Unknown said...

Jonny's Mommy- Actually I bet you're funny as HECK on Twitter. I didn't realize you were on there!!

It's so bizarre they're blocking my blog at the library. What possible controversial or inappropriate thing could they have found on my blog-- too many zombies? Or they didn't like the jokes I made about literary figures. :)

But it's lovely the Rambler misses it-- thanks for sharing. And he's a good egg, your brother. I hope he gets back into the world of technology again, soon.

Re: the blogroll- I was glad to include you. You've made me laugh so many times.

nonamedufus said...

Technology's moving too fast. Was reading that Twitter will soon replace blogs. Of course the URL for the article was in a Tweet, nevertheless...

Ken Armstrong said...

I thought '140 characters' referred to the 70 x 2 interesting/odd people I've met there. Fun post! :)

Unknown said...

NoNameDufus- Heh, yes, I've found out a few things from Twitter the same way. :)

I don't think it'll replace blogging, though. There still has to be a few folks out there willing to read a whopping 200-500 words sequentially.

Ken- Ah, yes, well-- we know some of the same characters, so perhaps you have a point!

Nooter said...

"chronically ill dog pees in womans shoe"

33 characters, how 'bout that?

Unknown said...

Nooter- Now I KNOW this is about me joking around earlier today saying how funny I think dogs wearing neck cones are...

I suppose I can see where you might have taken offense at that and I do apologize if I hurt your puppy feelings.

I guess I also admire you for peeing on my shoe in under the requisite amount of Twitter characters. So at least it's themic.

But still... here's a Milkbone for you... are we friends again?

MAN, this urine is going to be hard to get out of this shoe!

Da Old Man said...

I hope Twitter doesn't replace blogs. I don't want to learn anything else.

Unknown said...

Da Old Man- Oh, I have faith you could learn it. But I don't think it could replace your blog. You can't, for instance, have caption contests on wickedly scary photos when you can't post photos. Just ain't the same. :)

Nooter said...

"happy now, sorry about the footwear"

there, 30 characters!

Babs-beetle said...

I think I fall in the category of the tweeter who forgets to tweet!

By the time I remember to open the programme everyone I know has gone!

That reminds me.....

Harry Yack said...

Twitterer #1: I am currently typing on twitter :)

Twitterer #2: What a coincidence, so am I!

Twitterer #3: I am reading the text of people who are currently typing on twitter...

This sort of thing could go on forever. It's like the small talk you attempt to make when you first meet someone.

Unknown said...

Nooter- Ah, good!-- I'm glad. I'm terribly fond of dogs, so it would be sad to have you unhappy with me for long. :)

Beetle- That's right-- I USED to see you Tweet sometimes!

Hindleyite- Ah, well, it depends on who you're reading. I did actually have to unfollow someone recently because it got to be too much for the reasons you cite.

Nice person, but it was just pages of the stuff.

Anonymous said...

Good grief. I'd rather sit outside and listen to the birds! At least they make interesting sounds! :p

Hilarious. Just hilarious. I love your articles, Jenn. They make me smile every time!

By the way, I'm literally doing nothing right now. Hmmm... mayhap I should sign up with Tweeter or Hooter or whatever the thing is called because the whole world really ought to know this gasp inducing thing about me. :p

Chat Blanc said...

you've now inspired me to try twitter tactics in real life! I'll let ya know how many places I'm thrown out of and how many times I'm locked up in the loony bin! :D

Marvel Goose said...

I believe that the actual phenom is already happened. People twitter to each other in the same room. There was an example this week in Entertainment Weekly of Demi and Alton doing it.

Unknown said...

Tony- Well, see, it depends on if you really choose to share Nothing, as some folks do, or whether you choose to make your updates interesting. Act Stephen Fry on Twitter is great for making his Tweets interesting and colorful. It's just many folks don't attempt it.

Chat Banc- I KNEW we could count on you to investigate this concept further for us. Let us know how it goes-- that is, if they let you have Internet access in the Loony Bin once the men with nets come.

Marvel- Okay, now that would be sad. Not that I uphold Demi and Ashton as paragons of normalcy anyway... :)

Skye said...

You know, until I joined blogspot, I had never even heard of Twitter. This post has got me curious as to what it's all about!

Somehow, I think I'd be an OverTweeter though. I tend to say things that weren't necessarily meant to be said out loud.

Anonymous said...

I wish I was as "tweet" as your blog. Tooooo funny!

Anonymous said...

Skye- Well, you might end up with a big Twitter following for that, depending on your style. :) Ya never know.

Judy- Aww, shucks, ma'am. :)

Dennis and Leslie said...

I cannot STAND the people that tweet every thought in their mind....no body cares!!! I have to pee too, but I don't think anyone wants hear it!!!

Geez....thanks for listening.

pchi said...

haha :-)

thanks for a good laugh ^__^

really enjoyed this post

Unknown said...

Leslie- My pleasure- I hope ya feel better-- A nice vent does a person good. :)

Pchi- Hey, thank you for visiting!

Skye said...

My style would be much the same as my blog, seeing as the way I write is the same as the way I speak, go figure...lol.

As it is though, I'm going to go to twitter once I've gone through my blog list and check it out. I hate not knowing what everyone is talking about!