In April of 2009, I joined Twitter.
I had railed against it for a long time. I thought I should just be living my life, not documenting it one 140 character phrase at a time. Besides, if I wanted to rant about my personal life, I would put it on Facebook for my friends to laugh at and ‘like’ for my own private validation, not for the worlds’ consumption. But I am easily swayed (read: highly susceptible to peer pressure), and therefore I started it. I had about 50 followers for the first several months until Rebecca Lobo was kind enough to give me a shoutout, which I believe was in the vein of “@alysamarsiella your dad picked at a wedgie during his halftime interview”, which led to about 100 followers within ten minutes, and 500 by the end of the game, and suddenly….here we are today.
I mainly use my Twitter to post random observations of what occurs to me throughout the day, whether its going to the gym and getting stuck with the machine in front of FOX news (aka my worst nightmare) or dealing with students who don’t read the syllabus. I write about quotes from yoga class that I loved, the foods I’m eating that are too good to disappear into the ether and should be memorialized in some way (“My last Tweet and testament…?”), and simply because if I didn’t write, I would be a nutball.
I write because I love it. I write because it is part of my being.
I have 1400 followers. Why?
“Geno’s daughter on Twitter” is probably a good line to throw out there. For three years, I was the pipeline/sycophant/puppetmaster who would reiterate the crazy crap my Dad says at home. But now my Dad is on Twitter, so mostly we just spend our time yelling at each other with hashtags from films very few people find as entertaining as we do.
The ones who stick around even after I’ve worn out my “Geno’s daughter OMG’ welcome, those are the ones that are intriguing to me.
I have no idea why people find me funny or entertaining or even interesting. I find myself to be a veritable delight, a ratatouille of academia. I tend to spend most of my day researching either medieval manuscripts or Calvin and Hobbes, or doing far too much grading. I would not have learned half of what I gleaned from the Arab Spring issue if it weren’t for Twitter. I learned when National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is (it’s this week, FYI). I followed the Academy Awards. I learned when Joe Paterno and Whitney Houston died. I got updates about Fashion Week.
Twitter has given me a lot. But it has also taken away a lot. Namely, my time.
Time is something I can’t afford to waste. I’m approaching the ‘go time’ of my graduate study career. I have a six-hour Masters exam next January, and I hope to graduate this coming December. I’ll have a Masters degree. I’ll have to get a job. I’m hyperventilating.
I can’t put my life into 140 characters. At least, not right now.
You may have noticed my Twitter has gone away.
Well, I gave it up. For Lent.
When I told my Mom – who had assumed I would just give up chocolate like I usually do – she actually nearly applauded. “That’ll be a toughie!” she said, almost with a worried tone to her voice. I think she’s worried I’m going to start writing 140 character observations on the walls of my condo. In my own blood.
I’ve spent the last week and a half off-Tweets and I feel like there are two things so far that I’ve learned.
1. I get WAY more done when I don’t comment on everything. Last Thursday I woke up at 5:20, went to the gym, read 200 pages of my book for seminar, went to the seminar, graded 4 papers, paid a cable bill and a city hall check, saw my Mom for a few minutes, AND cooked all of my own meals. I felt like a superhuman. And I had time to watch some mindless TV that night, talk to some dear ones, and get some sleep. It was blissfully quiet in my head and I didn’t feel the need to share any of it. It was all for me.
2. I was born to be a writer. I have to do it. I suffer without it in my life. Everything suffers if I don’t write.
The real test would be if I activated my account and just let it lie dormant. Daring myself to make a Tweet, some blase indictment of the dude at my gym who runs on the treadmill in his khakis.
I may need to activate it sometime this weekend to keep it from getting purged by the Twitterazzi. So the account will be back this weekend, momentarily. I will probably put up a link to this.
The bottom line?
Twitter rocks, when used appropriately.
There are things in my life right now that are too wonderful and blessed to encapsulate in 140 characters. I’m living outside of ‘favorites’, ‘retweets’, and followers.
I’ll still be blogging, of course! But that’s it for now. You can reach me through here.
(by the way…if Notre Dame actually flew home and cut down the nets last night, that might explain why they haven’t won a national championship in 12 years. Save the net-cutting for Denver, Irish.)