Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Carbon Digital Footprint

A few months ago, I decided that I had a diverse enough presence online that it was time to reel in some of the extraneous and ineffective PJ out there. You might remember that I bagged the lastFM.com thing, and I deleted a number of accounts at online retailers and specialty pages (so long, Museum of Yachting). I resigned outright from Twitter.
I had been a terribly clumsy and irregular Twitterer anyway, dashing off mediocrities of less than 140 characters in fits and starts, giving up for weeks at a time because I felt abandoned and ignored. In a normal conversation, I take great pains to listen carefully to my co-dialogist's words and follow as the narration evolves or a thesis is developed. I will rarely pick a word at random out of a conversation and point out a goofy homonym in a snarky tone in order to disrupt the entire train of discourse with inappropriate levity or simply misinformed rhetoric.
Which seems to be what "Tweets" are. But somebody had to come up with an explanation, and I suppose that political party association might as well provide a suitable pretext:

Nearly twice as many Republicans as Democrats have accounts on the social networking platform Twitter (101 compared with 57), and the GOP dominates Twitter usage by an even wider margin, according to a report released this week by the Congressional Research Service that analyzed two weeklong periods in July and August. During those spans, congressional Republicans posted 932 messages — or tweets — compared with 255 for Democrats, CRS analysts found.
I don't work in Congress, but I never declared my party affiliation on Twitter either. If there were ONE decent Republican candidate anywhere near me, I would probably vote for her. If she represented me positively. But why declare as "GOP" when that eventuality is simply fanciful? But, it's The Impossible Journal, ain't it? Anything can happen.
I recall that I left Twitter right around the very time of that CRS study. I signed out because I was tired of reading the constant vituperative Tweets that decried my Congressman, Barney Frank, for calling out a Larouchie at what was supposed to be a meeting for constituents in my town. If one were to click on the "popular topic" link that week, one would find that Twits used words like "fat" and "criminel faggot" and "libral Taxachusetts Masshole ."
Of course, as with all of our Freedom of Impolite Speech outlets -- talk radio, online newspaper forums, public eating establishments -- you have the right to NOT listen or read, or even be a part of the conversation at all. In fact, your right to NOT LISTEN is absolutely fortified by freedom-loving fellow citizens who don't want to hear you either.
I had also lost the daily journal habit -- if it can be said that I ever had one -- here on Blogger™. Possibly because of a preternatural obsession to go be clever on Facebook. If you're not one of the 3,000,000 idlers on the world's first constant and complete collector of private personal information, you are haply spared the high camp of boastful young moms yammering about their childrens' poops and their instantly-uploaded videos of same.
A long time ago last century, there was a network teevee show called Max Headroom. It starred Matt Frewer (who should never have been allowed required to portray any other character ever) as a teevee reporter who becomes an animated soft drink spokesman and spends an inordinate amount of screentime during the Eighties proving to everyone that one moderately good idea can get ridiculously mucked up in a breathtakingly obscene potlatch of excess. The show looked like this (and I apologize to Jeffrey Tambor fans):

(Tambor -- "George Bluth, Sr." -- of course, is the only member of the Headroom cast who survived. The yummy Amanda Pays -- who had formerly been Diana Rigg -- had to become Liz Hurley and then eventually Kate Beckinsale.)

I had imagined -- possibly during one of those fitful "dreams" that were so common to me in the Eighties -- that at some point we would all be downloaded as clever and cocksure cartoon personalities into a worldwide databank where we would while away everlastingness saying clever things and reminiscing about our various corporeal accomplishments chronicled in networkable bits all around us.
But if I'm going to spend eternity toodling around a digital afterlife, I sure as hell don't want to be reminded of trying to join Monty Python's Flying Circus or making fruitless attempts to educate teabaggers about the public option.
I suppose, however, that I would do very well without the need to constantly update my Facebook status.

1 comment:

karie said...

"...that one moderately good idea can get ridiculously mucked up in a breathtakingly obscene potlatch of excess." BRILLIANT! I love your writing style.