Here’s the deal, you guys. There are few aspects of my life of which I’m truly embarrassed. Sure, I’m not super comfortable with the reflection of my naked body in the mirror. Maybe I’d like to forget about the time I wet my gym shorts in 2nd grade PE class. Freshman year of high school is a phase that I could probably go without analyzing too carefully.
But, those coming-of-age blips aside, I would characterize myself as a fairly self-assured, confident young woman. Allow me to correct myself. I USED to be a fairly self-assured and confident young woman. That is, until I discovered the ‘favorites’ function of Twitter. ‘Favorites’ – AKA the demise of any semblance of cool-ness I had prior to the invention of the social media site – essentially allow you to save a tweet you found enjoyable to your own virtual, personalized bulletin board of sorts. I know what you’re thinking: that doesn’t sound so bad! Heck, it may even be convenient. This, my friends, is where you’re wrong. Why, you may ask? Because those brilliant b*stards at Twitter decided to make the ‘favorites’ section into one that auto-scrolls the most recent acts of ‘favoriting’ from all those you follow, smack down the center of your homepage. Really, Twitter?! Really.
This is a problem for me because I’m somewhat of a pop-culture junkie. My celeb-news addiction isn’t one you’d know about just from talking to me, or even from being my friend. No, this part of my life I keep hidden beneath an intellectually and politically curious mask, the likes of which I only remove when I’m safely locked in my room watching the train-wrecks that are the Real Housewives reunion specials. Don’t get me wrong; I crave literature, I love writing, I would consider myself an amateur patron of the arts. But sometimes, homegirl just needs a little Caroline Manzo in her life, okay? My tweets don’t reveal my secret: they include musings about a book I just finished, my take on the most recent Presidential debate, a link to an article about the recent developments in human cloning attempts, brief attempts at humor and/or whimsy. I ‘retweet’ hilarity from wildly entertaining comedians and writers I admire such as Mindy Kaling, Chelsea Peretti, Lena Dunham, Kelly Oxford, Chris Kelly and Lauren Ashley Bishop. But pop-culture? PerezHilton, PopSugar, RadarOnline type stuff? If I do tweet about it, it’s usually in the form of a sarcastic quip. Pop-culture, for better or worse, is my very secret guilty pleasure.
Take an incident from a month or so ago. The website JustJared tweets a picture linked with the enticing caption, “Check out Miley Cyrus’ super short hairdo!” Yes! Tweets like this are exactly why Starbucks employees shoot me pointed eye-rolls as I’m standing in line before school, distractedly nose deep in my Twitter feed. The Twitter world has been buzzing about Miley’s new hair all morning, and this tweet is the first I’ve seen to provide photographic evidence. Will it live up to the hype? Will she look super chic, a la Anne Hathaway’s new wedding pixie cut? Or will the cut-off locks trigger a drop in popularity the likes of which haven’t been seen since Felicity’s 2nd season? On the edge of my seat to find out, I click the link provided in the tweet and tap my fingers on the iPhone screen. Alas, the Wifi on campus isn’t loading quickly enough for my technologically impatient Generation Y liking. What do I do? I could wait until I finish school, arrive home, turn on my computer, find the tweet again and re-load the image. But it being that I currently follow 738 people on twitter (note: number subject to random increases related exponentially to level of boredom), the chances of my relocating JustJared’s coveted Miley tweet later are about as rare as Miley herself calling me to gab about her new ‘do. There is one option for me, it has become abundantly clear: I must favorite the tweet.
I can only imagine the disappointment on my followers faces – followers who USED to think I was cool, smart, normal – when they are notified of my ‘favoriting’ articles linked to tweets with titles like E Online’s salaciously morbid, “Dead Bodies, Strippers and Scumbags: Five Biggest Shockers of the Michael Jackson Manslaughter Trial” or the Hollywood Reporter’s, “Justin Bieber threatened with legal action over twitter prank gone wrong!” Most of my ‘favoriting’ stems from this same necessity. What, really, are the other reasons for doing so if you’re not saving a tweet to check back on later? Come to think of it, is there any kind of Twitter etiquette I can refer to? Is there a protocol we can all agree to adhere to, you guys? Maybe like an ‘I won’t judge the fact that you ‘favorite’ cliché chick-flick quotes if you won’t judge my ‘favoriting’ of the most recent recap of the Real World’ type of deal? CAN’T WE JUST GET TWITTER TO HIDE THE ‘FAVORITES’ MODALITY FROM PUBLIC VIEW?!
All right, all right. I know what you’re thinking: if you don’t want people to see embarrassing acts of ‘favoriting’, don’t ‘favorite’ at all. Hey, you know what, after this moment of introspection I think maybe I’ll start heeding that advi— WAIT. TAYLOR SWIFT’S NEW SINGLE IS ABOUT JOHN MAYER?! Really, twitter? I’m finding this out 2 minutes before I have to take my physics test?! I guess I could click ‘favorite’…just this once. I’ll come back to it later.
You can read more from Spindrift Beck on her blog.
Feature image via.