What did I do for my 18th Birthday?
My university graduation?
Last Friday, however, I wrote my 10 000th Tweet and I couldn’t help feeling this was a milestone worth celebrating. And by celebrating I mean writing a low-key blog post. Hell yeah, I’m wild.
The internet has shaped my identity, for better or worse, since I could first download music on Napster. Most of it was Michael Jackson or 90s hip-hop that I could dance to. I learned the moonwalk and enough breakdance moves to dislocate my left shoulder. True story.
By 15 I had made my own free Angelfire website called Disco Simon. Here I posted up thoughts, pictures of me and my friends and events I was going to. I got teased at school for it but in hindsight I pretty much invented Facebook.
I rode the wave of MySpace when I was 18 and even recorded sweet attempts at acoustic rap music. My page was found by other musicians around the world which lead to me learning how to use audio editing programs. This enabled me to make tunes with recording artists over the net and record an EP in by bedroom.
For quite a while I resisted joining Facebook until a girl I liked said I should. She ended up doing sex to my best friend and broke my heart into little squishy remains which no one has yet been able to weld back together with their blow torch of love. Anyway, I joined the thing and as much as I still dislike the site I’ve reconciled with the fact that its utility outweighs its life-sucking components. For now at least.
When Twitter was born I took to it like a blazing falcon to an ever blue sky (yes, I am to analogies what someone who is good at something is to that thing). At first it was a way to keep Mum updated on what I was doing, which subsequently made our phone calls longer. She would ask me about things I had Tweeted but forgotten to mention. This, I feel, enriched our conversations and helped me feel a little more connected to the lady who grew me in her belly.
From there Twitter became a stream of consciousness, a promotional tool and a way for me to practice joke writing. I attribute getting TV writing work in America to the skills I have developed over years of Tweeting short, efficient jokes such as:
“Melbourne’s earthquakes are so underground only hipsters know about them.”
“You should never judge a person by the colour of their skin. Unless, of course, it’s a shitty fake tan.”
“In retrospect, I should have had more foresight.”
Also, I just noticed that the last four girls I’ve dated I have met over Twitter; probably because of my awesome topical puns and links to Adam Levine videoclips.
I don’t completely know how I feel about this social media courtship. Twitter allows you to get a general sense of someone’s personality before an informal meet-up or date. Online flirting can feel quite potent in many ways so perhaps Cupid has indeed gone digital.
Overall, I feel good about my involvement in social media. Maybe in the same way a junkie feels good about smack. But whether I’m addicted to online validation or am in great part ameliorated by modern connectivity, I see that my real-world identity is linked to my life online. It would be remiss not to notice this even in such a brief reflection.
No doubt you have come to find this blog through some form of social media platform. How connected to me do you feel? Enough to let me know, I hope.