Social Media has Turned me Into a Trained Monkey

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jan 19, 2016

Filed under: Personal 47 comments

If you had asked me yesterday how important Twitter was to me I’d have said, “Meh. I check it once an hour or so, post a few messages a day.” And that’s technically true. But it wasn’t until now that I realized just how integral the service is to my internet habits.

Twitter has been down for about 3 hours, and I keep getting caught in these stupid little obsessive behavioral loops:

  1. It’s about time to check Twitter. Huh. Twitter is down? The whole service? What happened?
  2. I should check Twitter to see what people are saying about Twitter… being… oh.
  3. Ha! I just tried to check Twitter to read why I can’t get to Twitter. That’s a funny anecdote. I should post that to…
  4. Oh damn it. I wonder if any of my friends are doing the same silly reflexive thing. I should check…
  6. Now I’m irritated with myself and Twitter. When that kind of thing happens I usually complain on…
  7. This is hopeless.

I would never have guessed the service was this important to my information diet, but there you go. I can’t believe we’re supposed to be the smartest mammals on this planet. This is disgraceful.


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47 thoughts on “Social Media has Turned me Into a Trained Monkey

  1. SyrusRayne says:

    Not sure when this was posted, but it appears to be only partially down at this point, at least for me. I can view feeds and post things, but if I try to look at someone’s followers sometimes it will give me that “stuff’s broke” screen.

    (It’s not creepy! I was just very surprised to see that “@nicemovemumbles” also followed “@unarmedoracle”, but not anybody else related to LoadingReadyRun that I could find. It’s not creepy. I’m not creepy.

    … Not to say he’s not worth following on his own. Uh.)

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Aye, it’s #OK now, I #think. Or as @cluedont put it:

      Ah, Twitter’s back up. *lowers loudhailer* *climbs down from tree* That’s better.

      1. SyrusRayne says:

        No, it’s down for me now. What have you done? What have you done??

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Yikes, sorry! *backs slowly away from the internet*

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I can't believe we're supposed to be the smartest mammals on this planet. This is disgraceful.

    Well to be fair,this is what other mammals on the planet do:

    1. Mephane says:

      Trust me, if humans had a tail and this kind of speed and agility, there’d be dozens of videos on Youtube of someone chasing their tail. There’d be two dozen memes about it and entire books about why tail-chasing is good/bad for your brain/health/career.

      1. Yeah, but the animals don’t do ANY of THAT.

        Most humans only look smart because the bar is pretty low.

      2. MichaelG says:

        Come on, wear a fake tail and chase it. Upload the result to YouTube and see if it goes viral. I dare you!

        1. Trix2000 says:

          If it hasn’t been done already, I will eat my computer. With salt.

            1. pdk1359 says:

              The tail chasing or computer eating?

              Answer = both

              1. MichaelG says:

                I see this fake tail that wags, but I see no human chasing their own tail, or eating a computer.

                Of course, all I did was type the two phrases into YouTube. You got links?

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Thats the problem,you were searching on youtube.And people that use tails for cameras….well,lets just say those things wont be found on youtube.

  3. Truly ironic. This is probably one of the events most suited to being discussed on Twitter–it’s useful to know if other people have the problem, and fun to make sarcastic quips about it.

    1. King Marth says:

      We could talk about it on Google Buzz?

      It’s unfortunate how, since social networks get their value from everyone using them, there’s no point to having two different social networks that fill the same niche. It’s more convenient to only have one to worry about, until it stops working.

      Of course, the outages are so small (in an absolute sense, if not in internet-time) that this isn’t a serious issue.

  4. Mumbles says:

    twitter is this evil mix of news outlet and chat room

    1. Ilseroth says:

      This is the truth, I don’t tweet much, but I can’t help but keep my eye on several twitters because it is the first place that get’s updated when it comes to so many things.

      I like watching some streamers, you bet that’s the first place that gets notifies when they go live. Want information on a game in development? Twitter. Want any information on anything just as it happens? Twitter. In fact, despite the character limit, it seems to be the most likely place for people to spill info that they probably weren’t supposed to, likely due to it’s casual atmosphere.

      For someone who wants to keep up to date with gaming, twitter is practically required, even if you don’t personally tweet much.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        For someone who wants to keep up to date with gaming, twitter is practically required, even if you don't personally tweet much.

        Unless you arent impatient and can wait a few hours to get the info.

        1. Ilseroth says:

          Several Indie devs i am following go *months* inbetween updating their site (one of whom has literally gone a year and a half) but still post updates to twitter.

  5. Grudgeal says:

    This is the point where I’d normally act all smug about being immune to social media temptations…

    Except this is posted during my lunch break.

    1. 4th Dimension says:

      Yes but you are using the older platform which means you probably did social thinge before they were “cool” thus making you a hipster.

      1. Grudgeal says:

        I only started foruming in 2000. I’m not nearly tech-savvy to go on the darpanets and the ircs that the *real* “before it was cool” kids know about.

  6. Duoae says:

    I don’t really see the point in twitter for my own use but one annoying thing has been the move of many people and companies to ONLY communicate via the platform. It makes them tough to interact with unless you’re also on there too.

    Bungie have been pretty bad about this…

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I understand wanting to inform your customers via twitter,but ONLY that way?Thats stupid.

  7. Ranneko says:

    Frustratingly seems to be cached for me, keeps telling me that they let us know they knew about the issue 8 minutes ago.

  8. I can't believe we're supposed to be the smartest mammals on this planet. This is disgraceful.

    //Notices the use of the word ‘mammal’.

    Shamus… what do you know that we don’t?

    1. Ingvar says:

      Do not talk about unreleased news of insect intelligences in unsecured forums.

  9. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

    This blog is a bit like that for me.


    I just healed a little.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Anyone else got slightly alarmed yesterday when there was no update all morning, and then the Experienced Points column came up before the Diecast?

  10. rgove says:

    >I would never have guessed the service was this important to my information diet

    Given that, by your own estimate, you check it more than 10 times a day, I’d be interested in what you did consider important to your information diet.

    1. Alexander The 1st says:

      Stuff that he reads that’s much more longer in form.

      Like this GDC presentation about Destiny that’s 78 pages long…but that Shamus retweeted from someone else…via Twitter.

  11. keldoclock says:

    Shamus! You’re old enough to tell your computer to poll websites to give you information, you don’t need to manually check that website in your browser.

    Plz don’t retard

  12. TMC_Sherpa says:

    I would make a comment but I’m waiting for the Twitter feed to load on the twentysided page. I read those first before clicking on the articles.

  13. evileeyore says:

    Shrug. This is one of those ‘stupid human tricks’ that’s never infected me.

    I don’t Twitter. I don’t Facebook.

    I do semi-compulsively check my email every hour when I’m awaiting a reply from someone… but I also used to do similar with snail mail back in the day (not every hour, but every afternoon, whatever time would be “well past when the mailperson should have arrived”).

  14. Wide And Nerdy â„¢ says:

    You might want to share a thought from Twitter here. Once a week look at your feed and see if there’s a thought you want to expound upon. I know I’d appreciate having more than 140 characters to work with.

    You could even compile responses from the other Spoilers (That’s what I’m calling you all now . . . or maybe Spoilsports?)

  15. Deoxy says:

    I laughed at you over this. My intentional choice to mock Twitter as a silly thing and never indulge in it continues to pay off.

  16. Blackbird71 says:

    If you’re ever that desperate for communication, you could always pick up a phone and, you know, call someone…

    Failing that, how is your Morse Code?

  17. Rick says:

    I killed my Twitter tab last month to avoid spoilers for some movie I was looking forward to. I go back every now and again if there’s someone’s tweets I particularly want to read, but I still haven’t brought it back full time.

    I don’t think I was meant to live in the age of social media.

  18. Cinebeast says:

    I must have missed this shutdown, and I’m glad I did — I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t access Twitter whenever I wanted.

  19. MadTinkerer says:

    It could be worse. Adding Order of the Stick to your essential information diet will make you lean in no time. And Dresden Codak could cause you to starve to death.

  20. Rick says:

    I remember you saying ages ago (probably on Twitter) that you only realised your new furniture had arrived in the next room is because your wife put it on Twitter.

  21. Bitterpark says:

    When facebook, twitter and other social network stuff started getting big, I just laid low biding my time, waiting for the fad to die off. Years went by, and the “fad” only got bigger and stronger.

    Apparently, twitter is where you go to do promotion, public relations, networking and other important things these days, it’s no longer a silly thing you can just ignore.

    I’ve now reached a point where I’m trying to force myself to use twitter, and I truly can’t. My whole life I’ve believed that if one doesn’t have anything really important or interesting to say, one should keep one’s mouth shut, and twitter seems like the complete antithesis of that. I don’t know if it says more about me or twitter, but I can’t bring myself to be a part of this, as silly as that may sound.

  22. Lisa says:

    I don’t do this with Twitter, but I do do it during power outages.

    “It’s dark, I should switch on the light … oh.”
    “I’ll just browse the .. oh.”
    “I’ll just play a game … oh”

    And so on.

    1. Blackbird71 says:

      It gets even worse with modern technology.

      “Oh, I’ll just use my tablet and watch something on Netflix… oh, the WiFi, right…”

  23. PatPatrick says:

    Keep calm and support Shamus

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