If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck


Friday, December 5, 2008

Twittering my life away - Confessions of a texting junkie.

Hello. My name is Damama T. And I am an addict. My drug of choice is Twitter. HUH? you ask? Is that some new Colombian Cartel import? I guess it could be. It is certainly as addictive as cocaine. But no, Twitter isn't actually a physical drug. It's more like a psychological drug. In case you have been living in the same dark hole in which I resided until a couple of months ago, according to their "About Us" page, Twitter is "a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices". In short, it is text messaging on steroids.

I have had a cell phone since the 1995 ice storm that hit Houston so suddenly the city was frozen within a matter of hours. Hubby couldn't find me anywhere and was scared spitless that I'd frozen to death somewhere on the road between Houston and Needville. As soon as we thawed out, he bought me a cell phone and I have never since been without one. Until recently, however, they were merely communication devices. Now my phone has become a social and emotional lifeline. And recently I've realized that I have become one of the hated abusers.

We have all been subjected to rude people who talk during movies, yell to be heard because they cannot hear in restaurants and stores, and interrupt personal conversations to answer calls. I have reprimanded more than one of my employees for talking on his or her cell phone during work hours because it was impeding productivity. I have walked out of more than one store because the clerk was on a call instead of attending to my purchasing needs. I have fussed at my daughter for texting at the table and talking too loudly in the car. Never in all my born days did I think that I would join the ranks of those uncouth louts. But indeed, I have devolved into a thumb-flapping, socially inept nitwit.

I started Twittering during Hurricane Ike back in September as a way of maintaining communication through the storm. During the ensuing weeks of power outages, long gas lines, and no land-line telephone communications, the ability to quickly and easily get insider information on supply shipments and short gas lines was a Godsend. I kept telling myself that once the storm was over I'd go back to actually talking to people. Like all addicts, though, the more I got the more I wanted until today I find myself unable to resist the need to immediately read and respond to each one of the 50 or so tweets and/or texts I get each day.

It has gotten so bad that my husband has threatened to quit taking me out to dinner, my daughter hates riding in the car with me (oh yes - I even text while driving), and my exercise buddy has banned my cell phone from the racquetball court! I even asked my auto mechanic, who was trying to tell me what repairs were needed, to hold on a minute while I texted a quick tweet reply. AND I WAS PAYING HIM BY THE HOUR!

All of this leads me to wonder: If I, a 52-year-old, relatively sane and stable woman, can become so addicted in such a short period of time, how can we expect our children who have grown up with all this electronic gadgetry not to be reliant upon it? How do we put that genie back in the bottle? There are lots of easy cognitive answers but absolutely no easy curative actions. I don't know of anybody who is willing to go cold-turkey, do you?

I wonder how long it will be before some mental health hospital develops a gadget-withdrawal unit? When they finally do, I have a feeling that I will be one of their first patients. Now excuse me; gotta go get my tweet on!

Peace, Blessings, and GO GO GADGET!

This post was written in participation of Brad Shore’s Cell Phone Users and Abusers blog contest.


  1. I had noticed your decline in tweets today and was a little concerned. That is until I went to my email and 11 comments to be approved from you alone on my blog. I figured you gave up twitter for the day to catch up on blogging.

    See ya at the rehab center!

  2. Up until a year ago i didnt have a need for a cell phone I am a SAHM and we had a house phone my favorite soldier on the other hand had one so I could call him that was enough for me. Then Michelle had to go and get a cool phone and well I've confessed to this before but I have a serious need to keep up with the jones and thats how I found my iPhone (the coolest and best phone ever!!!) and I wonder how on earth I survived with out it!!

  3. I guess I will have to follow your tweets! I do know about it and for me I thought "gee, another thing I don't have time for!"

    Are you on Facebook yet? Oh my gosh - that is fun! EM me privately if you want to know details!

    Nice to see your name on my page - thanks for all the nice comments!

    Keep up the good work - go go damama!

  4. I love my cell phone, but I really can't get into Twitter. It was so handy during Ike, because I could be sure you were OK, but otherwise I don't bother.

  5. Damama, Thanks for joining the contest! I think your idea of a gadget withdrawal clinic is long overdue already. Could be a lucrative business model!

  6. Damama: What a great post! I refuse to even enter into Twitter world, because I know what will happen. The addiction would be horrendous. I just can't go there!

  7. I have ebough to do with my family and blogging. After that , it would remain restricting my sleep hours. I haven't read anything about so called Twitter, I wasn't passing by besides, it's not even MY comment.

  8. LOL I have yet to sign on to Twitter. I don't need any more excuses to text on my cell phone!

  9. LOL, I admit I am a bit of a twitter addict too... as well as a forum addict, and a facebook addict too!
    I dont want a cure to be honest... LOL

  10. No twitter for me. I barely even use my cell phone and have had it for a year now. But I do lurve me some blogs. Especially yours. :) Margie

  11. Ok I must live under a rock because I seriously don't know what it is about. I haven't been to facebook either because a friend talked me into myspace which really seems more of a singles 20something site so I didn't have the need for another. I am though addicted to blogging and yahoo groups. Oh I love yahoo groups what a faboulous thing but once my inbox generated some 500 emails per day I can't keep up.


  12. I just can't do Twitter. I would be instantly addicted. Look what happened with me and blogging!

    And I can't speculate on the future of our gadget-addicted kids. They're on their own, darn it!

    angelawd: the writer gets the last word

  13. I'm sorry to say I am finally getting over here to read this. I have been too busy with Christmas prepaations and then I discovered Facebook. It's replaced Twitter for me and with it's silly games is oh so addictive. Hubby and the kids will probably want to sign me up with you for texters anonymous!


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