It seems that we have become a rather nosy species, we always want to know how each others day was, what they got up to, where they went blah blah blah. This has been escalated to the point of insanity with the dawning of twitter. With twitter, a person may place online exactly what they are doing at any one time, a sort of reverse stalking, forcing public your own private life. The problem we seem to have is what our conscripted stalkers will do when we leave out certain details.
This is shown more than anything in the School of Computing, (see, this is a student relevant blog). Here at Dundee University’s School of Computing, most of us students are tweeters, and yes we realise that tweeting tweeters on twitter use some of the most insufferable jargon of any computer meme. When all of us are packed together in labs and lectures, we know exactly what each other are doing and thanks to twitter, now we can get confirmation of that fact with each others “in the labs” tweets. But now we know what each other are doing when we’re not in the class room. One can sit and say “Hey, Josh is in a Japanese Lecture, he’s bored.” We can say this because Josh tweeted so on twitter. But what happens when we don’t say what we’re doing?
Well i have observed the phenomenon that is “twitter status withdrawal symptoms.” I observe this when arriving to the labs and being demanded of my location and doings directly prior to arriving in the form of the question “where were you?!”
“Where were you?” has become one of my pet peeves. People now rely on twitter for my current activities so much that they simply cannot abide to not know what i’m doing if i do not tweet it. This peeve of mine resulted in a rather vulgar experiment today, what would happen if i did fill twitter in on the missing details?
The occasion that i hate being asked where i was the most is when i am returning from the lavatory. Having only been away for say two minutes, people have been so addicted to my current location updates that they wish to know where i was for such a minuscule moment in time. I threatened several times that i would start posting details of my bowel movements on twitter if they were so very interested. Today i did it.
When i was upon the throne today, i posted details of where i was and what i was doing in the form of “Daily Bowel Movements on Twitter.” Having been so sure that i was filling the final gap on twitter you wouldn’t believe the barrage of unwant i received in response to my tweets. Suddenly it wasn’t “where were you?” but it was “why would you tell us where you were?!”
It would seem that followers on twitter don’t want to know everything, but they don’t know that until you tell them everything, but of course if you don’t tell them everything, they demand to know everything. You see the dilemma?
Twitter seems to have turned us all into socially acceptable stalkers, but even then we don’t want to know everything about a person. Even if we are making our private lives public, it’s important to know what parts should be kept public, if just for our collective sanity. Unfortunately this does not solve the problem of the annoying question “Where were you?” but perhaps this rather nifty response of mine will:
“None of your business!”