I did it.
Am I still here?
Okay, okay, it’s not THAT radical a move. It’s not like I’m Sean Penn and moved to Haiti.
I just got off Twitter . I didn’t do it because the whole concept of Twitter annoys me (although it does). I didn’t do it because I was never really tweeting, having never gotten the knack of the pithy remark that is somehow worthy of transmission to strangers (but I wasn’t and I didn’t).
I got off Twitter because The Library of Congress is going to keep every tweet ever twitted, in perpetuity.
When I heard that on the radio , as I stood in my kitchen, it just hit me. It was that little thing in my gut that probably should have been yelling at me for the last year or so. It was the "NO FREAKING WAY" response to basically handing my life over to Big Brother. And I don’t mean the TV show, although I am totally addicted to the British version of it , and even auditioned for it once.
No, I mean Orwell’s Big Brother from 1984 . If you’re too young to know what I’m talking about (and most of the twenty-somethings on the reality show of the same name have no clue where the name, or concept of Big Brother come from… they just think it’s an sort of evil, invisible family member… their ignorance makes it doubly eerie) I say to you: google it.
Of course, I never tweeted anything of any importance. Or anything that would implicate me in a crime. Most of us don’t. Most tweets are entirely and completely inane. So why get my panties in a twist? It’s the principle of it. When Uncle Sam just scoops up a segment of the culture’s speech and owns it… when my musings go straight into a federal vault… I dunno. There’s just something weird and wrong about that.
And I’m totally denial that it begins and ends with Twitter. Of course anything ever put on the web is, I presume to a geekier brain, traceable. Armed with a warrant and a resentment, the powers that be could probably get a cyber map or your or my movements that would be CHILLING. More detailed than anything Orwell ever fantasized. God forbid someone should get their hands on my laptop and see the sites I go to every day… what I bother to read about… who I email… that I’m obsessed with Sarah Ferguson and how she’s wrecking it for all us redheads . It would be better than a CAT scan .
Back in the day, we would walk around the farm, or the village, and just have thoughts in our heads . Thousands of thoughts just floating around in the ole noggin . If you wanted someone else to know of these thoughts, you had to tell them or write them. And there were only about 30 people in your life who would give a rat’s ass about those thoughts anyway. Most of whom you’d see at church (or synagogue, or mosque), where you generally were discouraged from blurting out said thoughts. So we were limited. We lived in tighter circles.
And we were private . And our nervous systems were calmer . And no one had ever heard the word ‘blog’. Of course, there were different problems–very real problems–but one of them wasn’t that the federal government was collecting all your thoughts forever and for all time.
P.S. I’m still on Facebook, but that creeps me out too. I dream of deleting it. Give me strength.