When my husband and I were heading downstairs to watch the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary show on Sunday night, I grabbed a glass of water and an ice cream sandwich. I did not grab my computer or my phone.
I, a person who has live-tweeted everything from The Walking Dead to the presidential debates to syndicated episodes of Friends on TBS, was not going to live-tweet the SNL special. “I just want to watch it,” I said. What a novel idea.
I discovered something, something important — I actually enjoyed watching the show, more so than if I’d been frantically tweeting every moment (and missing every other moment because my eyes were on the computer screen). I allowed myself to be present — really present, not, like, half-assed, “reading tweets through some of the good bits” present — and I think I’m a calmer, happier person for it.
About halfway through the show, I decided to jump on Twitter for a bit, during Miley Cyrus’s performance of “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” just to see what was happening over there. I was hit by a barrage of complaints — the SAME complaint — over and over and over again.
“Paul Simon is in the building!”
“Paul Simon is IN the building.”
“Paul Simon is right there.”
“My wife just said, ‘Paul Simon is THERE.’ Ha!”
And then when Eddie Murphy spoke on stage for a second.
“There has to be more, right?”
“That can’t be it.”
“My wife wonders if this is it.”
“Paul Simon is IN the building!” — someone was watching on delay.
I honestly kind of wanted to stab my computer screen just to put us both out of our misery.
I live-tweeted the Golden Globes this year, and it was the same. We’re all seeing the same thing, and we’ve all become such a hive-mind that our comments have become predictable, universal.
We love Transparent.
We love Jane the Virgin.
We think Michael Keaton’s son is a dish.
We boo the predictable, the popular.
And we say all these things en masse, in the same way, over and over and over again, as fast as we can, because speed is rewarded here, not ingenuity.
With live-tweeting, we’ve all become that douchebag who writes “FRIST!” in the comments.
And reading a Twitter feed’s worth of “FRIST!” comments has taken its toll. It’s just not fun anymore. So, I’m going to kick back during the Oscars this Sunday, with a drink and some popcorn, and relay my thoughts to the friends in the room with me, using my mouth and facial expressions, as we did in olden times. No, my words may not get “favorited” by the half a dozen people who find my tweets amidst all the others; but working in a room of five instead of a room of five million, at least I’ve got a shot to be “FRIST!”
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