Introducing my surrogate friend in digital form.
They say Facebook is for bragging, Instagram is for faking an ideal life, and Twitter is for complaining. While I see a truth in this blanket statement, the Twitter bit is off. Sure, I love a good angry tweet just as much as the next guy — I mean, why can’t tourists just walk faster? — but for me, Twitter is a not just a place to grump and growl. Rather, it’s a solid, dependable friend who’s always around.
I guess I should clarify: my Twitter Feed is a surrogate friend, one made up of some 400 unequal but carefully chosen parts. This constantly evolving yet ever consistent companion is always awake and up to the task of delivering a near infinite stream of information, entertainment, and support, regardless of the weather outside.
The equation is simple: Follow a couple joke accounts for irreverent humor; a few global news outlets for real time updates on what’s happening and where; close friends to interact with when real face time isn’t in the cards; colleagues to keep tabs on; and industry heroes for frequent reminders to keep pushing forward and working towards a better future. Now pepper in a guilty pleasure follow or two (it’s important to know what Kimye is up to) and you’ve got just about the most well-rounded, informative friend one could ask for.
When controversy erupts, flooding the feed with unforgettable images, heartfelt stories, and filtered feelings, participation in the global conversation is encouraged, though quiet reflection is accepted too. The static screen passes no judgement.
Of course, when culturally-focused opinions and philosophical ideas arrived at during happy hour are concerned, not all will be in agreement. Twitter is swarming with negativity. Though as unappetizing as it may be, it’s important to acknowledge our right as individuals to stand up for what we believe in—even if that may simply be better G train service past 10pm. As for negative commentary that serves no constructive or creative purpose? Well, we must do online as we do in real life and separate ourselves from such company. Unfollow. Block. It’s that easy, believe it or not.
Like the watchful eyes of a parental figure, each contribution is carefully counted, character by character, forcing the owner to consider the weight and value of their words. And when I decide that my sandwich-focused musings or cute cat video is worth sharing, Twitter absorbs them without the faintest flinch while delivering an updated stream of new content to consume at the same time. A true friend.