A twitter-less election
By the end of last night 20 million tweets had been sent about the election. Barak Obama’s winning tweet became the most popular tweet in all of history. And I saw none of them.
I am a social media girl as much as I am a writer, or a student, or a thinker. I have a Facebook, a Pintrest, a Linkedin, a Twitter, an Instagram, and I know my Klout score. I have studied enough about social media to know what works and what doesn’t.
And nothing is better for social media than an election year.
I watched all three presidential debates (and the vice presidential debate) with my iPad open to my twitter feed. I ingested the opinons of thoughts of my peers and celebrities and followers almost as much as I ingested the candidates words. I followed fact check and knew when they lied. I followed journalists and knew when they twisted.
But last night, after I managed to plunk my brand new iphone five from my bright blue America pants into the toilet at a swanky media party downtown, I watched the election like my parents must have.
I could not text my friends. I could not scroll through my feed. I could not tweet out all of the funny little quips I imagined when Obama took Pennsylvania. I could not retweet the president’s remarks to the disdain of my republican cousin. I could not celebrate Ohio, nor make fun of Florida. I could not be my personality on the internet.
Sadly, this is not a story of redemption. I did not come to any sort of life changing conclusions. I did not realize the meaning of life, or the importance of watching the election results come in. I did not learn deep realities about myself or my friends or my generation.
I mostly just feel like I got jipped.
Experience, for better or worse, is now a community activity all the time. There is not secrecy anymore than there is privacy.
Sure, I probably didn’t have any original political thoughts that hadn’t already been tweeted out by some celebrity or 13 year old. Sure, my Twitter followers probably did not miss me as they rapidly scrolled through their feeds. But I missed them. I wanted to see what the world was saying. I wanted to see what my generation thought, or thinks of this election, and our president, and our country no matter how mundane or trivial.
Because that’s what Twitter is.
Twitter is the voice of a generation. It is the pooling of thought, and feeling, and dissent that drive new ideas and new thought.
In the meantime, while I wait for a break in my schedule to drive to the apple store and beg them to replace my broken iPhone, I will read the New York Times online. I will check Twitter on my computer and be perpetually behind. I will try and remember that this is the biggest of all first-world problems, and that it probably doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
If you need me, don’t call me, text me, or beep me. I am–for the time being–only available by email. Or Twitter, which of course I will be using from every computer within a three mile radius of me.