Joel Stein, 29-year-old Los Angeles Times columnist, and contributor to Time Magazine, wrote a tongue-in-cheek essay on the two days he spent, when he disconnected his connections.
Wow, I thought, immediately wondering how I'd feel if I disconnected my connections. Basically they're my computers, TV, land-line phones, cells, and intercom that connects me to the downstairs front door and whoever wants to see us or talk to us.
I wouldn't miss anything except my computers. I need them to work, and working, is like breathing to me.
Stein un-plugged Internet, TV., iPods, GPS (his auto's global positioning system), and immediately became aware of his compulsions --he kept wanting to check his email, and be twittering, Facebooking throughout the day . When his 24 hours were over, he thanked God for technology, and swore he'd never voluntarily disconnect again. Twitter, Facebook and his GPS were what he missed the most.
Admitting that he needed response to his emails, texts, and calls right away, he ended his essay with a funny, equivocal remark -- "That's why I need to become a much, much bigger celebrity. So for now, my priority is spending all my time on Facebook and Twitter."
That was a yikes, a moan, from me. I need to be a bigger celebrity and get more readers for Em's Talkery. I don't see Facebook or Twitter in my future. I enrolled in Facebook under a fake name, fake high school because I don't want to communicate with people I went to High School with, or their friends. I've already gotten two responses from people who claim they remember and love "Harriet" (the fake name, fake person.)
I opened a Twitter account to see what was involved. Okay, 140 characters per tweet -- 30 or 40 words. After the first step was done, I was told to fill in email addresses for friends. I had 6 names to put down. And realized if each of my 6 names had 6 friends, then I'd be sending 36 updates/tweets throughout the day, and hearing from 36 people. If the 36 each had 6 friends .that would be 216 -- then 1296.
Gee, maybe in a few months it could be 7776 people with whom I'd be in touch on a daily basis. And then, 46, 656 -- then 279, 936 -- and wow, 1,679 616! But why would they want to follow what I do in the course of a day?
Ugg-eek-ick-yuck! Was that why Fran, my blog coach and best friend said Tweeting was a waste of time? Was that the "fame" that Joel Stein meant?
Does Sarah Palin's twittering reach 2 million, 5 million tweeters? Is she writing little tweets -- about what? -- little nothings throughout the day?
No! No! The world, the mainland I was seeing when I looked out that web-world window -- all the Joel Stein pals texting, emailing, iPhoning mobile-ing -- the mainland was getting small, smaller and smaller, farther and farther away. Was I drifting out to sea, out into the blue-gray, then gray blank space?
Oops! I'm remembering what I wrote yesterday about disappearing ink, "Tiger Texting" -- my feeling that many people in the world were strangers doing wrong things -- and me, with my different point of view about communicating ... I do feel out in space.
That's where, apparently, I'm heading.
Well, it's spacious. I haven't disconnected anything. I can think, and write as much as I want.
Thanks for what you wrote Joel Stein.