August 13, 2010

Summer Friday: The World According to Twitter

Every Friday between Memorial Day and Labor Day I'm going to be featuring guest bloggers as a part of my "Summer Fridays" series. This week's entry comes from nightlife promoter, social media addict and wannabe web entrepreneur Justin B, who gives us a glimpse of the seedy, scary underbelly of Twitter’s millions of users.

A Tweet is worth a million words. Okay, maybe it’s only worth 140 characters, which isn’t that many words at all. But you’d be astounded at just how much can come through these little textual blurbs that zip across the Internet at the hyperspeed of a monkey on rocket-backed roller skates.

In my newest Web project, Dearest Twitter I curate from Twitter only the funniest and strangest tweets written in traditional letter format (aka, those that start with the word “Dear”). Looking at my site, you might assume that everyone on Twitter is either witty or intelligent. But that’s because you don’t see the cutting room floor. And on that floor, there are millions of interesting folks writing letters that no one may ever read.

Most people may consider these stray tweets junk. I see them as the rich soil from which we can pull life truths and statements on the human condition. Teaching moments, all. Allow me to share with you a few universal lessons that the Twitter letter pile has taught me:

Everyone Is Stuck Behind an Asshole in Traffic
It happens in every state, every highway and byway, and at any sign or corner you could think of. Maybe right on your corner, right now! Yes, these “Dear Driver” tweets tend to pop up mostly right before work time, or right after. Sometimes said driver is speeding. Sometimes they are going far too slow. Sometimes they are picking their nose, pulling their armpit hair, flipping the bird, running lights, cutting off the elderly or lip-syncing to Justin Bieber. So furious tweeters take to the stream to voice their horror and anguish. Then again, maybe everyone is driving so terribly because they are too busy tweeting about each other.

The Weather Always Sucks Everywhere
Just like the common drunk excuse: "it’s 5 o’ clock somewhere," it is always about to rain, raining, snowing, hailing, freezing, or far too hot somewhere. And those weather-bashed people shoot out to Twitter a letter to Mother Nature, the earth, the sun, the moon, the wind, or that "fat ass black cloud over soccer practice." The most interesting times are when a tweet complains about it being too cold in Seattle comes up right underneath one about how it’s too hot in Arizona. I am still waiting for the day when someone tweets from somewhere where the weather is always just right… then we can all move there and abandon all the other less-satisfying locales.

Nobody Likes Their Jobs
At 5PM, 5AM, or somewhere in between, angry Tweeters are constantly wishing for their quitting time to quit wasting time and get moving. Another lesson learned in these "Dear Job" tweets is that everyone has stupid clients who can’t understand the simplest of communications, idiotic customers who don’t know how to order, how to pay, or how to bathe and shitty bosses who are wankers, jerks, or have a habit of spending too much time playing Farmville. With all of this hell at work, the next type of "Dear Twitter" trend makes a lot of sense.

People Love Destroying Their Stomachs and Livers
The search results of Twitter are a feast of absurd bacchanalian proportions. You will often come across people apologizing profusely (though never meaning it) to their stomachs and livers for the crappy food and the tubs of booze they are planning on, or already have, flooded and filled their bodies with. How do you know they don’t mean it? Because there they are back on Twitter the next day apologizing once more for the most recent repetition of the late-night organ abuse. Interesting enough, people spend most of the time apologizing to their stomachs, heart burns, and anuses after they’ve just consumed Taco Bell. Take heed!

Everyone Has a Noisy Neighbor Who Unsuccessfully Plays a Musical Instrument at Inopportune Times
Whether trumpet, guitar, clogs for dancing, or the vuvuzela. Whether downstairs, upstairs, divided by a peeling apartment building wall, or separated by a suburban yard. It doesn’t matter. everyone has a terribly inconsiderate neighbor who talentlessly twangs at or blows on something in a most unfortunate way. So don’t think your suffering is special.

Never, Ever Cross a “Belieber”
If you don’t spend any time in Twitter’s search, you may never even know what a Belieber is. Unless you are one. In which case, please read no further, as I am scared for my life. Beliebers are the diehard sufferers of the Bieber Fever you’ve heard so much about. They are a vicious pack of clawed pre-teen girl-beasts that will murder anything standing between them and their savior with their razor fangs and anything sharp or heavy nearby. On any given day, I will come across 200-300 Beliebers threatening to kill other people. With knives. Guns. Bombs! They re-tweet each other continuously, and nobody is safe: the Westboro Baptist Church, fans of The Jonas Brothers, that person who flung a water bottle at him this week or anyone referred to as a "hater."

And they’re not hoping to just kiss and hug Justin Bieber, either. No, these sworn protectors are porn-influenced sex she-demons. And they will have him or they will kill themselves (not kidding, suicide threats are prominent among them). I wonder if Justin even understands half of the things they say they plan on doing to him when they get him alone. Want to find a Belieber? Just pop “Bieber” into the search and prepare to be horrified.

There are many more lessons I’ve learned from my days scouring Twitter… I just don’t have the time or space to list them here. Perhaps you should give it a shot. Just put the word "Dear" into your Twitter search and start reading the results. There’s a whole world out there you may never have known existed; a world filled with millions of people facing the same daily travesties that you do. And trust me, each and every one of those Tweeters is certainly a character.

Dear readers, you can see more of these desperate tweets on Dearest Twitter or follow Justin B. on Twitter, too. Click here to read all of the Summer Friday entries.