Stop Being a Twit

by Ryan Bolton

They were all huddled around their Wendy’s burgers. The food looked good enough and the sun was shining with the birds, er, twittering. All wearing business attire with labels poking out from, well, everywhere, they looked bored. That, or the four of them didn’t much care for one another’s company. Instead of talking to each other – not to mention looking at each other – each one of them were punching away at their cumbersome BlackBerries.

What is Twitter doing to us? Stop it cute, unassuming blue bird.

What is Twitter doing to us? Stop it cute, unassuming blue bird.

I watched them for a total of 10 minutes in between bites of my heavenly cheeseburger, and, no kidding, they didn’t speak to each other. All that could be heard was the tapping of their keypads and maybe the sounds of the digestive system. Otherwise all was silent, until one finally said, “Should we get back to work?” I was surprised she didn’t Twitter that – it’s less than 140 characters.

We’ve lost it. We have all went (conversationally) nuts. We’re out of touch – note the irony – with communication. We cannot sit around a table and ostensibly delve into some small talk anymore. Why? Well, because we have other friends that we can text message, or we can Twitter about our banal existence to a sea of strangers (a.k.a people we think care about our every move.) It’s sad and disheartening to watch. And more than this, we’re stuck right in the epicenter. Unless a strident Luddite, you need to pick your battles.

I’ve written about our lack of “real” communication, as in face-to-face conversation, on numerous occasions in the past. Pining for when a home phone would do the trick to go and meet up with some friends for a movie. Now, it’s hard enough to gather friends to go out, because we are literally stuck to our technological tools to communicate. We’re living in false reality and, sadly, it appears to be getting worse. We are slowly digressing with this whole communication thing.

Home phones were great. (If unsure as to what one is, ask a parent.) Then came cell phones, which brought the advent of texting. All was good, right? Then we all started blogging, but that took up too much time, so we drifted to Facebook where we could be updated on the nonessentials of our girlfriends lives instantly. But, you know what, that also was taking up too much time, so we opted for Twittering – only 140 characters to update that your washroom break was indeed successful. Perfect.

But is it?

I’m all for methods of communication and connecting friends to distant relatives and whatnot. But, I’m not for losing physical communication with friends, family, and surprisingly so, strangers on the subway. I miss our mercurial discussions about George Bush, fellow subway strangers. I really do.

So, stop being a twit, and let’s chat – face to face again. I miss it.

A version of this article was originally published on Lutherans Connect.

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