Sunday, July 31, 2011

A funny thing happened while I was eating nachos...

Many of the funniest or most interesting stories you may have to tell may take place while doing the most mundane things. But remove the story and you're left with the fact that you were doing something you do all the time and of no discernible interest.

If you're reading this blog, no doubt you are a member of one social networking site or another and are sure to have come across insightful one liners tweets or status updates informing you that someone is shopping, watching TV or dicking around on the internet. With the advent of sites such as FourSquare, Gowalla and GetGlue, we are now faced with automatic posts generated by our friends informing us "I am at Albertson's" (a supermarket) accompanied by a link with the their exact location pinned on a map. While the whole surrender of privacy bothers me, that's the choice of that person. What bothers me now is how dull the information supplied is. "I am at Machos Tacos". Great.

After a Twitter exchange with a friend, I've finally come to realise why these posts bother me so much. It's not the over sharing of information, but rather the half-assed share. Okay, so you're at a taco stand. What about it? My friend jokingly tweeted complaining that GetGlue which she uses has no means of posting what you're eating. Apparently she wanted to post that she was eating nachos. Me being me, I couldn't help but reply "Maybe because 'I am eating nachos' should never be tweeted" She replied asking why not and stating that she likes to know what people are doing. I thought about it and realised that I do too as long as there is something interesting to go with it. Tell me about your nachos. Are they the best nachos you ever had? The worst nachos you ever had? Do they contain an usual ingredient? Are they incredibly spicy? Tell me more about your nachos. But if they are every day nachos, then sorry, but I don't need to know about them and nor should you know about my run of the mill nachos. If I caught up with someone after a long time with no other contact, if they asked me what I was up to, I wouldn't say "I've been eating nachos." Admittedly, whatever story the nachos had to tell no matter how interesting, it wouldn't be fodder for a catch up session. But should my friend and I choose to catch up over a Tex-Mex meal, the subject of my nachos may come up at this point, but again, only if I had something notable about nachos to share. "God, I hope these are good. Last week I had the WORST nachos I've ever eaten. I didn't think nachos could be that bad outside of a roller rink." or "I'm hesitant to try these nachos. The ones I had the other day were the best I've had in my life and now I think I'm ruined for nachos!" or "No, I can't split nachos with you. I had nachos for lunch." Here are some circumstances where one's consumption of nachos is relevant and worth mentioning.

(left) Bad nachos made with Velveeta. Interesting for their grossness. (right) Gregorio's Famous Nachos, interesting to Birdsworth, at least.

Indeed, I do care about what my friends are doing, but I don't need to know everything. You're at the Apple store? You're at Walgreens? You're eating breakfast? You're at the dentist? Who gives a fuck?  Where will it end? Here was my day in tweets, should it have been cross posted to Twitter through a check-in service that expresses my movements without commentary:

I've woken up.

I'm on the computer.

Turned the A/C on.

Lunch is in the oven.

Brushing my teeth.

On the computer.

Playing CityVille.

Playing with cats.

At Radio Shack.

Installing antenna.

At Radio Shack.

Installing antenna.

Watching The Simpsons.

On the computer.

Making dinner.


Watching Larry Sanders.

Writing blog.

Your response to all this would no doubt be:


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