Near-death experiences and Twitter

Sorry about the hiatus folks. I would make up some elaborate excuse for my absence, but the truth is, I have been preoccupied lately mulling over the fragility of life and my unexplainable obsession with social networking.

You see, it all began a week from today, when I decided to take a week-long trip down to Champaign to visit my friends before I jet off to Australia for the semester in February.

Taking the two hour trek down on I-57, my precious 2006 Honda Accord (lovingly named Taylor) hit a patch of black ice, causing it to spin off the highway at 80+ mph, narrowly missing an oncoming truck in the next lane before landing in a ditch some 50 feet off the highway.

Fortunately for this Pretzel Day blogger, not only did I come out of the mishap unscathed, so did my beloved Taylor. And after the surreal experience of the near-death incident, quick thoughts popped into my mind:

1). Am I okay?

Yes.

2). Is the car okay?

Yes.

3). Can I Tweet about this?

…Yes.

Doubly-lucky for me was the fact that I had set up my cell phone with my twitter account, and although I don’t own a sweet PDA phone with a nifty data plan, I am still able to text in my tweets as long as I have my phone with me.

So after catching my breath, I tweeted to my adored followers, letting them know that I, albeit a bit shaken up, was alive and well.

And although I really should be considering how incredibly lucky I was or how I probably should be driving a bit slower on the highway, I can’t help but dwell upon this fixation that I, and the rest of the world, has with Twitter and other social networking sites.

For my loyal followers on Twitter, you may recall a tweet I made in December poking fun at some jackass that Tweeted and changed his Facebook relationship status while on the altar. Seriously, what a tool.

But even for myself, as I sat in my car waiting helplessly in a ditch for the police to come and tell me where I was so I could call a tow-truck, I found my obsession with social networking at an all-time high.

And I’m not alone in being able to spend hours upon hours on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites. Twitter continues to gain in popularity, with nearly 6% of daily internet users visiting Twitter.com, up from just 0.2% from a year ago.

And although a scientific study (yes, an actual study) found that 40% of all Tweets are “pointless babble,” I still maintain that all my hours spent online perusing people’s profiles and pages are not merely a waste of time. Sure, Facebook and Twitter are double-teaming any future chance of me ever getting a job (Twitter because it is killing the journalism industry and Facebook because my future potential employer will pull an offer ten seconds into viewing my tagged pictures), it has been allowing me to keep my sanity.

It has allowed me to keep in touch with good friends from high school while I’m at college, as I stalk their day-to-day happenings through these various mediums. And as I sit at home waiting for my Feb. 14th flight to Sydney, Australia while all my friends are off at school, it has allowed me to keep in contact with all of them, which has allowed me to stay away from creating imaginary friends.

By God’s grace I narrowly missed that oncoming truck, allowing me to Tweet and Facebook one more day.

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2 Responses to “Near-death experiences and Twitter”


  1. 1 Ryan Hansen February 2, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Hahaha Great Article Jay. If only they knew about the crazy week that pursued here in Champaign.

  2. 2 Alejandro K. February 4, 2010 at 7:36 am

    You son of a bitch…I wish that in the accident, that dvd was ejected from the car and ran over a couple times by a truck while you and your car rolled gently into a giant bush.


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