Thursday, September 3, 2009

Monitoring her every Tweet

So, I had a girlfriend for a while (a geeky type) who happened to be a pretty frequent blogger, Tweeter, and contributor of comments to other people's blogs. She was also a bit self-absorbed and attention-seeking. In fact, she insisted on obtaining constant attention and for a while this was a big issue in our relationship. Very early on, we had a bit of a heated discussion because she felt I wasn't paying proper attention to her daily online activities. She noticed that I wasn't reading her blog first thing in the morning. It irritated her. So I started reading it first thing in the morning (instead of whenever I happened to get to it). Then we were chatting once, online, and she said "Didn't you see my Tweet on this? I Tweeted about it already, I thought you knew that." I went and looked on Twitter; her Tweet was less than an hour old.

I very quickly got the picture: I am supposed to read her blog as soon as she posts it. Also I am supposed to follow her Tweets and know about them before initiating any kind of conversation with her (by phone or chat).

Like a trained monkey, I set up Google News alerts to alert me by e-mail of any new occurrence of her name online. (She has a fairly unique name. A Google search brings up mostly her.) I also wrote a script using Mozilla Jetpack to check once every 60 seconds for any new Tweets posted by her. If a new Tweet was detected by my polling script, I'd get a toaster popup in the lower right corner of my screen showing the text of the Tweet. The code for this is part of the example code that comes with Mozilla Jetpack and looks like this:
  1. var twitter = jetpack.lib.twitter
  2. var oldTweet = null;
  3. function getTweet(){
  4. twitter.getTwitLatestStatus( "osunick", function(tweet){
  5. var newTweet = tweet.text;
  6. if( oldTweet != newTweet ){
  7. newTweet );
  8. oldTweet = newTweet;
  9. }
  10. });
  11. }
  12. getTweet();
  13. setInterval( getTweet, 1000*60 );

Preparing for a phone call with her meant doing homework. First I had to check her blog (including comments to it), then I had to check her friends' blogs to see if she had left any new comments there. Then I had to check her latest Tweets. And finally I had to check out any Google News Alerts that might have come in about her.

Then I could call her.

This got to be a pain in the ass, of course. I should have seen it as the red flag that it was, because it later turned out that this person was seriously messed up in the head. She was constantly seeking attention, from me and others, online and offline, always flirting, always demanding worship and adoration, and viciously denouncing (behind their backs) people who didn't show her the worship she felt she needed. She became a demanding (and despotic) princess with me, requiring a constant shower of compliments. Eventually, she started accusing me of being egotistical and always talking only about myself and my own concerns. It was her way of saying there is no need to talk about anyone but her, so don't mention yourself, ever. Just talk about me.

We eventually had enough of each other. We broke off the relationship. What's funny is that we each told each other that the other was too egotistical!

The difference, though, is that I tried, consciously, to please her: I tried being more attentive (obsessively so, in fact) to her every Tweet, and I carefully avoided talking about myself, for about a week, to see if it made any difference. It didn't. She still accused me of talking about myself all the time.

I'll never act like a freakin' trained monkey again. Don't you do it, either.

1 comment:

  1. From the Hart (read heart). Great insight for beginners. Good one!