Friday, October 8, 2010

Does Anybody Care What You Had For Lunch? A Rambling Post

This is sort of a ramble, so bear with me.

I just picked a scab (I know, ew) and my face was bleeding. I was on Twitter, so I thought idly that maybe I should tweet "My face is bleeding." But instead I got up to dab it with a napkin and, as often happens to me, I started a conversation with someone in my head as I did so (not myself, because this imaginary person is way too negative to be me).

Me: * Thinking about tweeting about bleeding faces and wondering if that's TMI. *

Imaginary Person: Nobody wants to read about your bleeding face. Seriously?

Me: Oh, I don't know. Somebody might. It's just something to say. It's kind of funny. I could make it a joke about zombies or something. See?

IP: Nobody cares if your face is bleeding. Nobody cares if you just ate a sandwich. Why do you tweet about anything about your mundane life? Nobody cares! Nobody!

At this point the conversation ceased, because I'd seized upon a thought that surfaced after that last remark. I hear it ALL THE TIME, but . . .

That simply isn't true.

About the face and the sandwiches, I mean. Now at this point I figure the Imaginary Person is sort of mishmash of things I've heard many people say over many years that I repeat back to myself, not necessarily because I believe these people and the things they said, but because I like to argue with them and discuss their points and think about their reasoning in a safe setting (my brain).

Mind you, this isn't the part where I go "Of course people care, because we're all special little snowflakes blah blah blah snore." No. I mean, that's not what it is for me. I just know it's not true because:

I just LIKE knowing random facts about people. I like hearing what people think. I like knowing what they're up to and how they're like me and how they're different. It's interesting.

See, I'm sort of a harmless snoop. I WOULD feel bad admitting that because it sounds sort of weird/creepy, except it seems to be somewhat common among writer types. (Tawna Fenske wrote a post about it a few months ago, I remember. I was all HAHA I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE!). See. I care about crap like bleeding faces and what people had for lunch. Don't get me wrong--I don't want to have a 20 minute conversation with a stranger about these topics, that would be sort of intimidating, but I'm genuinely interested in the dumb little details people tweet about all the time.

I am always looking at people and wondering, "What do they see when they look at the world? What are they thinking about me as we're having this conversation? Are they as bored by the small talk as I am? Are they as shy as me? I wonder if they hate cats." And other kinds of random things. I people watch. I make up random stories about people in my head. If I know someone even in the most casual sense on Twitter, and they tweet "Going to the pool! Wearing my pink and red flip-flops!" I find that interesting. Usually it sets me daydreaming about a story idea or something like that. I'm not trying to be creepy. I'm just really into details, and I love it when people toss them around for me to graze on at my leisure. Hence one of the reasons I really like Twitter.

Mind you, I don't go around looking in windows or anything, but I love people watching and I love overhearing conversations. I love seeing little snippets of other people's lives. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE it when people dissect all the things they were thinking and feeling in a given situation. I blame the writer inside my head. She finds this stuff fantastic fodder for character motivation. They're always like, "This is probably so boring to you," and I'm like ... "It really isn't."

I mean, what is reading if not the chance to see things through somebody else's eyes for a little while?

Anyway, like I said before, this is a ramble! I just wanted to be able to say all this in response to all those times when people have declared "NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU HAD FOR LUNCH . . . Bunch of sad lonely people on Twitter, thinking anybody cares." And they mean it. They're being sincere and they think they're doing everyone a favor by saying so. I mean, I don't think some of these people are being douchenozzles about this. They really think it's true.

But I get so sick of that. Like one person can stand up and declare how every person in the world thinks. Usually the people bellowing loudly about how little they want to know about your pathetic, uninteresting life are the type to least know what other people are thinking, perhaps because they're so determined to focus only on themselves.

I say all that to say this. Don't feel guilty if you tweet about what you ate for lunch. Granted, if all you tweet is "Now I'm putting on my shoes." "Now I'm watching Law and Order" "Now I'm watering the plant" that might not make you an interesting follow and people might wonder other things about you, like what you think about the latest movie you saw, or what you're writing, or whatever. But don't feel like you have to be a link-spewing machine either. Or that you have to quit Twitter because some angry guy in a suit said nobody could possibly be interested in anything you have to say.

Lots of people are interested in the stuff you have to say.

That goes for writing books too, I guess.

Okay ... rant over.

PS ~ Gee, I sound like a psycho. Voices in my head, snooping ... lol. It's a writer thing.



  1. yeah- i don't do twitter, but this post cracked me up! i think it's interesting that you think it's interesting to know what other people are thinking! :)

  2. Haha ... glad it made you laugh. I guess my point is everybody is different, and some people really do like to know the weird random stuff nobody thinks is important.

  3. I was going to say something about no one caring about you thinking about no one caring... but this post is too funny to make fun of!


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