I would like all of you to know that staring at a blinking cursor in an empty Word document for five minutes IS, in fact, considered WRITING, even when punctuated by the rhythmic checking of Facebook and Twitter every 10-20 seconds. It’s true. This is the kind of mental white space we bloggers require. Especially if an overflowing pouch of Cinnastix from Taco Bell is involved. So do not cluck your tongue and label me a slacker if I am taking the latest “Which Celebrity Star of the 80’s Are You” Facebook quiz during one of my blogging sessions. I’m working on my craft, people.
But this situation of writing on a computer with the Internet at my fingertips MIGHT explain the sometimes-random ramblings that characterize Wet Behind The Ears. (That’s the official title of my blog, by the way, which you can visit HERE if you are already bored with this particular post). Who wants to spend valuable time writing about the sometimes-small world of being a mother when the UNIVERSE, its PEOPLE, and everything you could potentially BUY from the People in the Universe are ever before you?
A new distraction for me is Twitter. I have recently joined Twitter in order to “tweet.” And on Twitter, whilst tweeting, I have found a rather robust number of fellow mommies also tweeting about the ills and spills of life with kids. Twitter is actually where I learned that the MacLaren strollers had been recalled. I did not hear this on the 6 o’clock news or the Monday paper. I learned this from a fellow mommy Internet lurker who was taking it upon herself like Paul Revere to let us know our children’s fingers could be amputated and for goodness sake get off the darn computer and go sue somebody.
Another tweet of interest this week was this from She Who Shall Remain Unnamed, who asked rhetorically: “Why can’t more family dinners be made with just peanut butter?” Well said, sister. Well said. We’re all thinking it. And that’s kind of the beauty of Twitter— you can know what people are thinking in an instant of time. It’s like stream-of- conscious literature in real time. How d’ya like them apples, James Joyce?
Of course, that’s not to say that these tweets are organically flowing out with no particular filter whatsoever. People who vomit their every whim onto the Twitter platform quickly find themselves alone in the cyberworld. The people I like “following” (still coming to terms with this verb) translate their most immediate thoughts into an interesting and/or pithy 140 characters. This one caught my eye from a mommy I am following: “Since the removal of my uterus, I'm feeling smarter. I think it's clear now that it was the thing holding me back all along.” Pithy, don’t you think? And, don’t you like the word “pithy”?
When I tweet, I will admit that I spend WAY too much time composing it. You would think my tweet is about to be etched onto my forehead for all to see and judge me by as long as I draw breath. Gordon will ask me if I’m working on my blog because of the extended time I have been starting at the computer screen, and I kindly inform him he can go shove it while I finish agonizing over my 140 characters. It’s hard for a verbose writer to stick to a prescribed letter count. It feels cruel, like imposing word anorexia upon myself. But sometimes it’s too hard to make the immediate thought “My kid just ate a Cheerio off the floor” elegant and/or interesting to anybody, especially mothers. We know kids eat cheerios off the floor. Why do I care if yours did five seconds ago? Isn’t that why I’ve escaped into the virtual world, to avoid this kind of tedium?
So Twitter is a double-edged cyber sword. A great way to stay connected with people, but a faster way to get on their nerves. So, who’s up for it? You can follow me on Twitter: @BehindTheEars. My blog will still be here like it always is, if I can ever get it written amongst the demands of my ever-expanding social media empire that is NOT, let me repeat, NOT a waste of my life.