Tag Archives: Twitter

I’d like to buy the world a Coke

I’d like to buy the world a Coke. Just one Coke. And everybody would have to share it. How do you split twelve ounces into seven billion? I’m sure it has to be possible, right, I mean, soda is made out of molecules, and all of those molecules have to be able to be broken down, even the tiniest atom is composed of smaller parts.


So here it is, a can of Coke, from Rob, to the world. But who’s going to accept it? Who can I entrust with making sure that everybody on the planet gets his or her tiniest drop of Coke? This is getting pretty stupid already, I thought I’d maybe get like two or three paragraphs out of this, and then I’d be able to stretch it out to five or six, and then add a ridiculous intro.

But I’m already out of everything to say about making the world share one Coke. Actually, the first three lines, that would have made a great tweet. I get Twitter, I do, I just don’t get how I can really do anything on Twitter. Because every time I have anything even close to something that would do well on Twitter, I’ll post it, and then that’s it, it’s gone, maybe one or two people will “favorite” it.

And I don’t get it, some of these Twitter people that I follow, they’re like really good at just constantly churning out bite-sized packets of information, little jokes, beginnings, middles, and ends. Me, I can write eight hundred words and not feel like I’ve really said anything.

But Twitter, even though I get it, sometimes I wish that I’d never gotten it. For example, a while back I started getting a ton of new followers. Wow, I thought to myself, it’s really happening, my work is getting out there, I’m attracting a following. But none of these people ever clicked on anything that I wrote, my stuff never got retweeted.

I thought, maybe these people are just mad that I didn’t follow them back. So I started following people back, everybody that followed me. So now I had these two columns of rapidly ascending numbers next to my username. It was “followers” and “following.”

But then right after I did that, my Twitter feed turned into something that looked like my spam email folder from when I had AOL back in the late nineties. And that’s when I figured it out, all of those accounts that were following me, they were all spambots, all of them sending out identical weight loss formula tweets and magic penis enlargement ads. So I had to go through my followers list, which, by this point, was quite large, and I had to individually block and report each one for being spam.

So yeah, that stopped the new followers. And then I got sad. Because it hit me, great, I didn’t have spam anymore, but it also meant that I wasn’t really popular. I couldn’t even pretend that I was popular. Ignorance really was bliss. Now I just regular, it turned out that I had been regular all along. I felt more regular than ever.

Every once in a while someone will follow me who has like fifty thousand followers. Wow, I’d think to myself, this person must be famous, or at least really well known. Even though I’d never have heard of any of these people. And then I noticed also that they had an almost equal number of people that they were following.

That didn’t make sense, because all of the famous people that I do follow on Twitter, for every hundred thousand people that follow them, they in turn follow zero to one people back. So I figured out that these people were just following me purely to get a follow back. I stopped following back and, sure enough, within twenty-four hours, they’d unfollow me.

Now I’m sad again. I wish the world would buy me a Coke. Actually, I don’t wish that. I have tons of soda in my house. If the world knocked on my door and gave me a can of Coke, I’d be like, yeah, I appreciate the gesture, but I don’t need it at all, and I’d feel bad that the world went out of its way for me, for nothing.

Internet problems

I got up really late this morning. And even after I woke up, I stayed in my bed for hours, just kind of tossing and turning, staring at the ceiling, not able to summon the will to stand up and get going. I reached for my cell phone and killed another hour or two on the mobile Internet. It’s gotten to the point where I can stay on the Internet indefinitely, not doing anything at all. I’ll go through my Facebook news feed, reading the statuses of my Facebook friends, a lot of people I haven’t even spoken to in years, just kind of indirectly keeping tabs on everybody’s lives.

And it’s weird because a lot of people don’t really use Facebook anymore. Or if they use it, they only lurk in the background, they’re not actually posting daily content. So it’s just this weird mix of friends, relatives, people that I went to school with twenty years ago, people that I’ve worked with ten years ago. And so I can always waste ten or fifteen minutes scrolling all the way the down, keep scrolling, keep loading more stories.

Then to Twitter. I’m really bad at Twitter. As in, I’m not really actively involved. I’m following something like seventy people, but I don’t really know how I chose those seventy. I’ll follow people on a whim, usually because Twitter suggests it. When I first started using it, I’d see a funny Twitter joke and I’d be like, “Ha! Follow!” only to realize that maybe that was the one funny thing that this person ever wrote in an otherwise boring list of daily nonsense. Like why am I following Ensign Wesley Crusher from Star Trek? If I ever tweeted out, “I’m drinking an IPA!” that would be a huge waste of everybody’s time. But Wil Wheaton does it and somehow I’m reading about it. I guess Twitter is really just like a backup Facebook, like if I’m very bored and I seriously just want time to disappear I’ll go through the feeds of all of these people that I really don’t have any connections to at all in real life.

And look at that, Reddit has a mobile app too. Whereas Facebook and Twitter are perfect for eliminating time in ten to fifteen minute chunks, Reddit is a great way to make a whole day vanish, as if you never had off in the first place. Let’s just look at stupid pictures and lame jokes, but indefinitely, a never ending sea of blue links to be clicked and mindlessly consumed. I sometimes have to make it a conscious activity just to refrain from even going to the home page, it’s that dangerous.

The worst part is, if and when I ever pry myself away from Reddit, I’ll get all anxious, looking at the clock, seeing how I’ve let the day totally slip away, something I had, time that I’ve lost that I’ll never get back. I’ll jump up, not standing up entirely, but I’ll leap up in bed and think, I’ve got to do something here, I’ve got to get going. But then I’ll look at my phone again. Well, after I check Facebook. I’ve been on Twitter and Reddit for so long that by now there has to be a whole new list of status updates to scroll through. And the process repeats itself.

There’s no escape. It’s not like I can just not have a phone. What am I supposed to do? How do I turn it all off? I can’t. I don’t know what else I’d do. And I can’t even turn to anybody or anything for any guidance. History doesn’t have any advice. We’re in new territory here. The great minds of humanity never had to deal with such bullshit problems like Facebook and Reddit. How can Plato or Socrates or any of the other great philosophers help me out when I can’t even get through a whole sentence without being distracted by the email sound going off on my iPhone? And look at that, it’s junk mail! What a surprise!

There’s no going back. We can’t turn off progress. But there’s got to be a better way.