I’m guilty. No, I haven’t done anything criminal, but I do admit to falling for one of the cardinal social media sins affecting users today: Waking up in the middle of the night to check a timeline. Here’s how it happens: when restless at 1, 2 or even as late as 3 a.m., it’s not unusual that I wake up in a fit with my mind racing. Maybe it was a dream, a nightmare, or a noise. But, the real problem is that instead of going back to sleep, I’m often kept up by none other than my Twitter feed.
See, once I’m awake with nothing but quiet in the background, my mind gets to thinking. I’m not ashamed to say it many times veers toward Twitter, that social media site that’s helped countless numbers of us in cyberspace make friends, build connections and expand our horizons. Here’s why I just can’t stop thinking about what I may or may not have seen on my followers’ timelimes earlier in the day:
- A user may have tweeted something that seemed particularly interesting, but my day may not have allowed the time to further explore it. I may not have been able to open a link to what I thought might be a fun blog post or an interesting news story.
- A Twitter friend may have been at an event that I was interested in and knew he or she was live tweeting at. It’s not unusual to automatically think to go to that friend’s feed in the middle of the night to see how that event played out, how much money was raised at a charity dinner, or how many overtimes it took for a team to win a game.
- I may have forgotten to respond to someone who sent me a kind tweet earlier, but who I simply hadn’t had the time yet to respond. This is my moment to find the right words to say “thanks.”
- I want to catch up on a certain Twitter stream, such as #FLPrimary, which I relied on to keep me up to date on the latest happenings on the primary election in Florida just the other night.
No matter what the reason, any Twitter fanatic has cause to stay up late checking his or her tweets, whether for better or worse. Admittedly, in the mornings, it’s for the worse.