On Favorited Tweets and My Internet Limbo
I think about my favorited tweets, those fragments from the minds of random people, strangers, and personas that I like and star and compile. And then I wonder about this strange, personal space I’ve created in my own little Internet world—a limbo of floating mental and creative bits. I am reminded of Teju Cole’s tweet about Twitter . . .
. . . and think that, maybe, my collection of favorited tweets is an online vault of swirling inspirations, of 140-character crystallizations of half-formed ideas in my head, of shared sentiments at specific moments, often with people far away (and I’ll likely never meet).
It’s not quite a stagnant archive: I don’t file these tweets away and forget about them. Yet for some reason, they were not fit to retweet, or I didn’t want to retweet them. Instead, they were—and are—bits and pieces solely for me: An accumulation of tiny but agreeable and intriguing things, all of which influence or reflect me.
I “favorite” tweets, I “like” Facebook status updates, I “favorite” YouTube videos, I “heart” Tumblr posts. On Facebook, my likes are generally actions for someone else: to encourage, to share and roll around in a friend’s happiness, to acknowledge another’s struggle. On YouTube, favoriting is functional: I favorite music tracks and add them to playlists I play regularly. And on Tumblr, on which I “like” posts less frequently, I suppose it’s just another action of acknowledgement—a thumbs-up in the shape of a heart.
But on Twitter, it’s different: favoriting is less about someone else and more about me. The process is about plucking the juicy bits from others’ minds and imaginations and tossing them into a cauldron—a volatile place that mirrors my headspace at any given moment.
And although I don’t retweet or share them, they weigh more to me—and are timeless rather than timely. So I decided to sift through and share some of my favorites, and in the process I realized how I don’t rely on Twitter simply for news and information, but also for those fleeting, random moments of clarity and satisfaction and empathy.
I wrote a bit more on favoriting tweets as curating my own universe — and on “molding a single being” and “shaping an übermind” — on The Equals Project.