Wednesday, August 4, 2010


It's 3:00 AM and I wake up. Because I'm the non-sleeper that I am, when I'm up, I'm up. I'd really like to go back to sleep but my mind just won't let me no matter how badly my body wants it. For whatever the biological reason or mental issue this may be, I know that once I wake up my day has started.

Here's the problem though: how do I not wake up the rest of my family once I get out of bed? My wife tells me that I walk "heavy" and our floorboards do creak loudly in the relative quiet of early morning. Realizing that my footsteps will send the kids out of their room to find me, I turn on my Blackberry for social networking updates, and roll over on my side away from my wife's face. I'd love to go downstairs to watch TV or turn on the kitchen lights to make myself breakfast, but I know that I would soon have kiddie company and there is something to be said for alone time. For this form of logistical frustration, I call my situation "twittered".

I can't start my day without waking everyone up. I'm twittered!

Social networking has become a larger part of my life than I ever wanted it to be. I joined Facebook at first just so I could see my sister-in-law's page. It wasn't like I wanted to reconnect with my friends from Kindergarten; I just wanted to see her vacation photos and joining the service was the only way to do that. Little did I know that I'd log onto Facebook morning, noon, and 3:00 AM to see what my "friends" were up to.

If Facebook wasn't enough of a distraction, I joined Twitter at the height of the CNN - Aston Kutcher race for 1 million followers. Once I figured out that I had instant access to breaking news stories and insight from my favorite sports columnists, I got royally hooked. Need to know if a tsunami is bearing down on Fiji? Check Twitter. Want to learn how to grow hybridized corn from NPR? Check Twitter. Curious how your favorite athlete ever managed to pass 3rd grade because his "tweets" show that he has no concept of how to use the English language? Just follow him on Twitter and let the investigation begin!

Twitter and Facebook probably tell you more about me than I want you to know but the point here is simple; they keep me occupied when I'm held hostage. I spend far more time than I want to checking out everyone's life when I can't get mine past the top staircase. In the dark ages (i.e. a year ago before I got a Blackberry) all I would do was lie in bed and think about what I needed to do that day, week, and month. With the Blackberry, I dig deep into other's thoughts and witty saying to determine if sarcasm really is the best form of humor. As long as someone's problem or news is there for the pondering, I don't need to dwell upon whether or not we have broccoli in the refrigerator or if I need to trim the hedges. My life takes a back seat and 3 AM is when that starts.

A self imposed bedroom restriction is frustrating when you know that your day really needs to begin because you have so much stuff to do. If I'm "twittered", I can justify to my wife that I really wanted to fold the pile of laundry in the wee hours of the morning, but I'd wake the kids up in the process and we both don't want that. Spending the time reading Facebook and Twitter until everyone wakes up gives the rest of the house the peace they need to sleep comfortably. Everyone else gets rest, I get a social networking education, and if a tornado is touching down anywhere near Jackson, New Jersey at 4:00 AM, I'm awake to make a phone call.

You can thank me later for my attentiveness in following your comments, stories, photos, and breaking news when your day has started. I'll respond when I can. If you hadn't guessed already, I'm twittered at the moment.