Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bronx Zoo's Cobra

I know that most people on the Internets are not on Twitter. The latest stats are that only 10% of folks on the Internets are also on Twitter. And it's hard to explain why people would want to be on twitter. You don't get to explain about a story in detail like when you write a blog and you don't get to learn about someone's life and develop relationships (at least in your own head) like when you read a blog. And the criticism is always "Why do I want to know what someone had for lunch? I don't care about that."

Honestly, people, it's not like all people do on twitter is talk about what they eat. They may tweet about what they are drinking, maybe, but that's later on at night and a whole different issue.

Oh, and as an aside, on of my colleagues came up to me and said I was the best example about what he didn't want to be on Facebook. I had posted a very funny (I thought) update about lingering puke smells around the house after the twins' bout with a stomach bug. He said "why am I reading this? I don't need to know about it!" Why, indeed.

Two words, people: Un. Follow. Instead, I blocked him, because I am passive aggressive that way.

In any case, have you heard about the cobra that escaped from the Bronx Zoo? Well, that cobra has started a twitter account. And I love it.

And I am not the only one. The twitter account started on Monday and already it's been featured on the NY Times, NPR, the BBC and various other news outlets. Ellen DeGeneres, Steven Martin, Jon Favreau, the New York Hilton, and even Sesame street have all referred to him (or her?) in their twitter feeds. There is even a hysterical video of baby twins talking to each other which has been re-interpreted into one warning the other about the cobra. It wants to eat baby toes!!

I tweeted last night: "It's somewhat hard to explain to "normal" people how one is following an escaped cobra on twitter " and it has been my most retweeted and responded to tweet ever.

What. Is. Up? For some reason, the word Zeitgeist comes to mind. Obviously, there's something about escaped cobras that captures one's imagination. And the idea of one touring New York ("looking for Rebecca Black. No reason.") and tweeting about it is funny.

But there's a time urgency here. They could capture the snake and then the tweets won't be so funny. The snake could die, and sort of the same thing. You can't really put off following this snake until some time in the future. We have to enjoy it now because it may be over in the next hour. (Or not. See the post by the vet above)

I cannot explain this easily. It is something I would like to research and explore in further depth. What I love most about twitter is sharing diverse, time dependent, special or unique events with friends and strangers. I would love to know what it's tapping into for me psychologically or sociologically. And when I've had more sleep I will pursue that.

But right now, I'm having a lot of fun following an escaped cobra on twitter. You might enjoy it, too.

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