It was a world in which we truly played with technology — where the field was level, and where everyone, no matter who they were or where they were from, had access to it. I came back to this place each weekend, as if returning to a womb to be reborn as an upgraded being — to interact in a frictionless realm where we allowed machines to manipulate our bodies like yo-yos, and where we responded to their maternal calls.
I guess, deep down, I do enjoy the labyrinthine-ness of the web. I complain about feeling left behind. About not knowing the best ways to do something. But I’ve never really been someone who expects — or wants — to conquer each minute of the day, to be some kind of marvel of productivity.
I think of the expiration dates we stamp on produce at the supermarket. How when we place items on shelves, we instantly date their freshness. I think about tweets in the same way: once unleashed for all to see, how long can they sit before they’re irrelevant? Before they’re kicked out of the conversation of now?
Read Later. I’m unsure what this means now. It’s become less of an action, and now some kind of blessed, magical place. An ideal state far in the horizon, to where I put stories and ideas and information for me to consume and synthesize to make myself a better, more informed person.
Sometimes I envision my Twitter feed as rushing water: my presence is a dam, and each tweet is debris making its way downstream. It’s now a challenge to let information simply flow—to let tweets swim by without me seeing or interacting with them.
Sure, I was collecting things in an online space. But it still felt like clutter, fit for shoe boxes under my bed. And with Pinterest, my aspirations no longer floated in my head. They were right there: discoverable, pinnable, and recyclable by others. Aren’t my dreams supposed to be elusive? Unable to be bookmarked?
It’s quite confusing, all of this.
How seeing the accumulation of my things in a space that I own is both exciting and suffocating. How roots and wanderlust continue to battle. How I am eager for “home” to be something concrete, but know that no place I inhabit will feel like home until I have the one thing that’s missing.
For those of us who mingle virtually with avatars in the same room, and who embrace Twitter as meaningful and three-dimensional, I wonder: If one is not interested in Libya, or Wisconsin, or the Superbowl, or Egypt, or Planned Parenthood, or the Grammys, how do we whisper about something else? How do we tweet politely about our day when others are distraught, angry, or in need?