Monday, January 10, 2011

Twitter & TMI


It seems that with the advancements in social media, we now get to know an awful lot about each other. I do believe we may be bordering on TMI. For anyone unaware, TMI stands for “too much information”. In my case, the TMI-cry is usually followed by plugging up my ears and yelling “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA”…which I’m aware is not the most mature way to handle it, but really.

I’ve noticed there’s a direct correlation between my tweeting about something stupid I’ve done and the number of people who read and respond to said tweet, versus my witty observational tweets, which often go utterly unnoticed. I believe this is due to the fact that people enjoy other people’s pain…ie: it’s funny, as long as it’s not happening to YOU.

C’mon…admit it. You know it’s true.

Kathryn tweets: “Went 2 fill up the birdfeeder. Pretty high up da tree. Lose my balance, seed raining dwn. I’m screaming; thinking it’s birds a-la Hitchcock.” THIS garners a lot of attention….

…versus, “Bank across the street robbed an hour ago. They could’ve run right by us and we wouldn’t have noticed…” receives barely a wave.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand human nature. My losing my balance and screaming like a little girl is way funnier than my being across the street from an armed robbery. And really…which one of these tweets would you be more likely to respond to? According to my data, it’s the former. (And Gigi? I'm okay, girlfriend. Thanks for caring!)

See, I love the challenge…love the premise…love the entire concept of Twitter: Can you elicit a reaction from someone in 140 characters or less? And can you respond immediately and somehow be memorable enough to stand out from the 400 other tweets they see at virtually the same time? I’d like to imagine my comic genius (yeah, I said genius. C’mon, I know you were thinking it) is eliciting a smile from someone…why else would I even bother? And I love the concept of these short little bursts of energy…it’s about all I can handle these days. Twitter has an expiration date on tweets…if you don’t respond within a few minutes, it’s probably not going to matter. I actually prefer it this way...if I'm crazed, I can let it roll off my back like a duck. And by the time you respond, I’ll have forgotten what the thread was even about…like when my co-worker Eta (@etela) responds to me with:

“I am doing it but not in the winter!”…and I’m thinking, “WTF??” I still have no idea what she does…but evidently it’s something she prefers to do in warmer months. And my next thought is, “TMI! LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!”

Of course, we don’t need to have the internet between us for it to be TMI. This morning I was putting the finishing touches on my makeup, boogying to the new tunes I put on my iPod last night. Taylor (18) walked in just as “Ladies Night” by Cool & the Gang came on and I enthusiastically broke into song, using my lip gloss as a pseudo-microphone…bumping and belting out, “OH YES IT’S LADIES NIGHT! AND THE FEELING’S RIGHT! OH YES IT’S LADIES NIGHT…OH WHAT A NIGHT!!” and Taylor patiently waits for me to pause and he responds, totally deadpan: “Mom, I can’t un-see that.”

TMI? You be the judge.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

He didn't appreciate the genius of you belting Ladies Night into your lip gloss? What-???

Don't have a Twitter, but if I did, I'm pretty sure I would have freaked out about the armed robbery. (Though, I admit, I sort of laughed at the bird seed thing. Come on. You knew someone had to.)

kathryn said...

Oddyoddyo13: Yes, dear. I know the human in you can't help but to laugh at my birdseed-tweet. I accept it...but only 'cause you're such a warm, wonderful person in your own right. You look so warm and fuzzy in your hat and scarf-avatar. I wish I could send you some snow to go along with it!

Dorn said...

So following you on Twitter now! Can't wait til you lock yourself out of the filing cabinet or you discover that marshmallow peeps do in fact grow 20 times their original size in the microwave! I'll be there armed with a witty retort...or at least a giant LOL!

Seriously, it's so hard to comment beyond OMG when something REAL REAL happens. Oh and then there's the Tweet from Kanye that absolutely must be retweeted that'll distract you from whatever you might have actually come up with to make -athryn chuckle/know you sympathize!

kathryn said...

Dorn: HA! Yeah, no pressure dude...now I'll be feelin' all awkward and have a nasty case of Twitter-block. Don't jinx me! And yes...you obviously realize how easily distracted we can be by some people's tweets! And how it's definitely easier to respond to the funny stuff than something serious...you're spot on with this.

Christopher said...

You know I even hit the low note in my head when I was reading that bit about ladies night. Completely stuck in my head now. Luckily I'm home alone because I'm pretty sure people would be a bit disturbed if I started walking around singing it's ladies night.

kathryn said...

Christopher: Oh, thank GOD it's stuck in someone else's head now. It was really starting to annoy me. Now we can sing a duet. Only sing LOUDER...I can't HEAR you!!

Kimberly said...

Well, if plugging your ears and yelling LA-LA-LA-LA-LA is immature, then I'm right there with you! As are my 3 children.

I look forward to the day when my kids say stuff like that to me. Well, not really, but a little quiet in this house would be nice. Right now they all just make too much noise! A silent, somber, sarcastic teenager would be wonderful. Of course, I won't think so at the time. We're never happy with what we have.

:)

Thaydra said...

I always plug my ears and la-la-la-la at TMI! I tried to Twitter, and I just didn't get it. Facebook is enough for me. There's plenty of TMI on there!

Alicia said...

You know...I remember you video taping your trip to work in the morning once, a while back. And while that was truly exciting and worthwhile watching...why, oh why can't you video tape yourself actually getting ready in the morning??? (not the shower scene, that would just be weird!) I would love to see Kathryn belting out Ladies Night, oh what a Night! C'mon!

Lauren said...

HA! Maybe Taylor inherited your comic genius? Maybe. I'm glad you're okay after the bank robbery thing. Hey! Maybe the birds did it! Which explains why you lived after the bird seed incident AND why birds are falling out of the sky. Guilty conscience... it can weigh on a person. Or bird. I completely minimized the experience. I'm sorry.

Vince said...

Saw both tweets, and in both you closed them off as statements of fact.
And you are of course correct, scatological or falling down anecdotes are comedy gold. While a broken coccyx, heck you need only say it and you will have people rolling about the floor. But by closing them off you leave us uncertain if teasing you is a good way to go.

Gigi said...

You tell Dragon. Ric Dragon. to upgrade the security at your place immediately! Because if I sneak a look at twitter whilst at work and see a tweet about you all being held hostage by said bank robbers, I will hyperventilate. Then I will have to explain what is going on to my co-workers - who will all be "what? What's a tweet?" Then we will have to have a meeting where I try and explain it and, OH MY GOD, I won't have the patience because you are being held hostage!

Errrr, yeah - maybe I have an over-active imagination. Just a tad.

Maybe it's a good thing I missed the bird tweet - can you imagine where my mind would have gone with that one?

JP said...

Do I have to be the first to mention that it's KOOL and the Gang... Kool with a K. Because Kool (aka Robert Bell) is too cool to spell his name with a C.

In any case I often wonder what makes people want to reply to tweets or reply to my blog posts. Sometimes I'll say something and think "Oh this will definitely get something" and *crickets*. Other times I'll just babble about nothing, not really expecting anything and get a deluge (which btw is one of my favorite words... deluge... just sounds like what it is, I like that).

sage said...

Kids do have a way to bring us back to reality.

Having spent my whole life trying not to be a twit, I don't twitter.

j.m. neeb said...

This reminds me that I haven't tweeted anything since the Carter Administration... I really should get on that.

I know that your sample size of two provides an in-depth look at Twitter responses, but does it maybe have something to do with another factor? I mean, does time of day lead to greater responses?

See, I'd imagine you were falling off the later on your own -- and not company -- time, right? Well, if people were home from work, maybe they were more likely to be on Twitter? Maybe not, but I just know that it's a blocked site on my work's computer -- unlike Blogger, thanfully (for everyone)!! -- so I can't tweet during the day, even if my Twitter account wasn't buried under mounds of dust and cobwebs. (How the dust and spiders actually got inside my computer monitor is beyond me...)

By the way, I totally caught your subtle shout out to me. ("I can let it roll off my back like a duck") I picked up on it. Well-played. ;)

(Yes, I assume anyone, anywhere, who uses a "duck" reference is giving a tip of the proverbial hat to Ducks Out Of A Row. Surely, those Ducks Unlimited people are just one of my many fan groups...)

j.m. neeb said...

Ugh... I meant, falling off the "ladder," not "falling off the later."

Back to elementary school for this guy! (I wonder if I can get money from my work for that? I mean, they always give it out for people who take college courses...)

Jen said...

Is that considered child abuse? TMI is everywhere. I do like the whole Twitter thing seeing if I can get something funny in a tweet that will get someone to respond. Sadly, it doesn't seem to happen. Maybe I need to tweet more. Then I'd need to be witty more often. That's a lot of pressure. Now I have a headache.

Runnergirl said...

Hilarious! I love Twitter because it enables me to make inane observations that I would make to my friends if they were around next to me... which they aren't, but it's our way of sharing our days.

Although that said, I don't have many Twitter friends so I don't get many responses either. That's probably because I'm not the comic genius that you are.

Tinkerschnitzel said...

I don't twitter. What I put on Facebook is just as boring as what I would tweet. ;)

Climb2Nowhere said...

I love twitter. I think it's fun. That being said, sometimes I read stuff that people wrote and yes it's dumb, but it's definitely a way to stay connected. In the end I probably wouldn't do it if I didn't have a blog, but then I guess I'd be missing out. The best part is you can say anything and it's fun when you have tweets with people you don't know or have never met or only know from twitter. In the end TMI is always kinda funny to me.

ValleyWriter said...

I have not jumped on board with Twitter, yet. I think some of it is fear that I'm not funny enough to garner any attention. How sad would it be to have all of your tweets go unnoticed? I don't think I can handle that pressure... But YOU are perfect for it! I'm still giggling over the thought of that statment "I can't un-see that..."

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

I LOVE TMI!!! I blogged about snot today - as a public service, of course - and Michael Solender comments: "umm does TMI have ANY meaning for you?" And I'm like NO! Buahahahaha!

Selina Kingston said...

You ARE funny, there is no doubting that but if there is a comic genius in your house I think it has to be Taylor, with a line like that!
....but he obviously got that from you !!!

Betsy (formerly Gingerella) said...

"I can't un-see that"

I'm totally stealing that from your son. :)

John McElveen said...

LMAO!!! TMI is the new Mantra!!!

John

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