Konrath’s Law of social networking sites

I don’t know how many of you use twitter, or see the little box to the right (that I will probably remove in the near future.) Twitter started as a good idea, but it has already been rendered stupid for the following reason:

Konrath’s Law of social networking sites:
Any given social networking site will eventually be rendered inoperable by insufferable prick sociopaths jamming the entire system with drivel about how great their kids are.

Actually, the problem with twitter is that there are only three types of messages: “I’m bragging about something that makes me better than you”; “I’m whining and bitching about something”; and “I’m sending a reply to one specific person to my entire list of friends because I’m too much of a douchebag to just IM it directly to them, and not to n-1 people who don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.” That’s twitter in a nutshell, and if there’s anything more redeeming about it, I’d love to hear about it. (Don’t forget to send it to @jkonrath and your entire friends list, too.)

I have a bigger gripe about the whole thing: it’s killing communication. In the Civil War, soldiers wrote home these epic letters, very formal, and you can still tell the whole history of the conflict by these archived letters. I know when my dad was in Vietnam, they made reel-to-reel audio tapes, rambling stream-of-consciousness recordings they sent back home. 40 years later, nobody knows what the fuck a reel-to-reel is, and even if you did, the tapes would probably turn into flakes of dust if you tried to play them. Now in Iraq, Marines are probably twittering home, “SEND ME A PLAYSTATION 3”, which removes any content, and is also completely unarchived. It’s the same way in the internet world: I go back to my archives from the early and mid nineties, and people used to write thousand-word emails all the time, telling of their days, telling stories. Now, 90% of the internet population is a read-only audience, and the thought of writing like that is completely alien. And the other 10% turned to blogging, which got more impersonal, especially when the old late-nineties model of web journals got derailed by people writing two-line livejournal entries. And now twitter is going to derail that by replacing both IM and blogging with inane little 140-character messages about how their kid just took a shit.

So anyway, all of my twitters as of late have been sort of mocking this. If you’ve been seeing them and thinking I went off the deep end, don’t worry. Actually, you should still probably worry, but not about this.

I’ve been back on prednisone again, but a smaller dose. This means I have not been up all night or eating everything in the house, but I also haven’t had a manic snap that enabled me to write 100,000 words a day. The biggest thing this week is I am trying to get back on the diet bandwagon, and one of the major components has been eliminating caffeine and sweetened beverages. I don’t really eat that much, but I drink a six-pack of Coke a day, plus juice, gatorade, root beer, orange soda, and whatever else I have in the house. So that’s a couple thousand calories a day I can shed. Unfortunately, this week has been nothing but migranes and extreme cravings for a super double big gulp. And all things Splenda and Nutrasweet still have a weird taste to them. It’s hard to exercise with the gimped-up foot, but it’s mostly better, so I’ve been taking long walks after work every night.

I walked down to the ocean yesterday, which is always fun. If I walk over the ridge, to the water, down the shore a ways, and then back, the big square path takes me about an hour. Yesterday, I walked the shore portion in the sand, because it’s a little harder, and my theory is that it will strengthen my ankles more. (Maybe it will tear them up, too.) It is always so astounding to be on the sand, looking out over the water, thinking that there’s not something else out there, and that’s really the end of the continent. And all of the sand with the strategically spaced park buildings every half-mile or so always reminds me of the Warren Dunes on Lake Michigan, where I spent a lot of time as a kid. After I got home (and washed all of the sand off of my feet and out of my shoes) I looked up some stuff about Warren Dunes, and it’s bittersweet. It’s neat to see pictures of the place and remember driving there with my dad as a kid. But that giant mountain of sand – it’s only 250 feet tall. Worst of all, Google Maps doesn’t have a high-res image for the entire area. Oh well.

I’ve wasted over an hour writing this, because I keep googling the Warren Dunes. I should go get some more work done now.


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