I had this experience in 2003 when three young Swedish boys and a goat … oh wait, that’s not the story I was going to tell.
Let me start again. In 2003, I found myself hiking up the Chinese Mountain referred to as “Yellow Mountain” in the Southeast province near Hangzhou. The goal of this 8 hour hike was to leave at dawn and arrive in time for a good meal on top of the mountain before passing out for an early sleep. Then at 5 am, in the pitch dark, you would wake up and climb out onto a perilous cliff and sit in lotus position as the sun rose up through the clouds that were below you. Truly a magical experience was to be had here!
I made the hike, ate the grub, took a sleeping pill, and begrudgingly got out of my warm sleeping bag to make the hike to the cliff in the dark. I sat, shivering and mumbling, in the dark until the first rays began to peak out below me and yellow sun-energy burst out from beneath me. It was moving! I yelled “Oooh and Ahhh” into the air that surrounded me. I paused. I listened. I could hear clicking. Click click clicking. I looked back to the campsite where I had slept amongst so many others. From their tents, dozens of Japanese tourists could only be seen by the glimmer of the sun bouncing off their telephoto Nikon lenses of their expensive SLR cameras. They were less than half a Kilometer away from me, but I sensed we were having a very different experience. They clicked away, only inches from where they slept moments before, and “captured” the moment for eternity for not only themselves but for others. I turned away from the mélange of technology and let them photograph my backside as my eyes “captured” the sunrise, smelt the cold air, and raw tears of experience welled up within.
I think about this experience every time I make a journey now. With the advent of status sharing websites like Facebook and Twitter, your friends can virtually be sharing that experience with you as it happens. For those of you not in the know, it would go something like this:
Facebook Status Update: “OMG! John and I are bodysurfing in Sweden and he just asked me to marry him!
Comment from Joe Blow: “That’s Awesome!”
Comment from Mom: “Oh honey, this is the best day of my life. Yours too!”
Comment from Billy the ex: “Kewl. Catch some waves for me.”
I am just finding it hard to believe that the important stuff in our lives has to be broadcast to the world for it to be important. Can’t it just be important to me? I can’t believe how many people drop big news (aka marriage, death, dismemberment) via a Tweet. How does that make me closer to you to hear big news and be physically so far away?
Of course there is the humor aspect of Twitter which is what I embrace and is the sole residual effect that I so enjoy from the update feature. Recently I have gone for palindromes such as “Evan is eating Pie in Pai” or “Evan is drinking Port in Porto” or “Evan is with a lesbian in Lisbon” or “Evan is eating with a spoon in Forks” or “Evan is listening to Kashmir in Kashmir” or “Evan is banging the cock in… well, you get my drift.
But recently I have found the need to Twitter EVERYTHING and not just because I think it’s hilarious, but because I think you will think it is hilarious too. Recently I was on my motorcycle dodging elephant poo on the highway as I sped thru the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Laos, and Burma. I soooooo wanted to pullover and share this with all of you via tweet, but then I was like, ‘Wait an f’in minute – the fun that I am having that makes me want to Tweet would have to stop if I was to pull over and Tweet so how is that fun?”
The introduction of high speed data connections for my smart cell phone in the remotest parts of the planet are making my Tweet addiction even more convoluted. How do I tell my Tibetan Sherpa to stop climbing Everest for a sec so I can Tweet my peeps about the lack of O2? Just ain’t right.
A few peeps out there are doing the lifecasting thing which means all camera all the time for everyone. I am seriously considering this (especially since I heard you can get a webcam implanted into your eyeball).
So we’ll see where these tweets take me. My current status update is: Evan is up to date.