Tweet, There It Is
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2013 17:02
“Lol sports,” Sara Bovat sardonically tweeted at 6:07 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday 2013.
Upon the kickoff of the Super Bowl, I had absolutely zero intention of watching the game. To my athletic-ignorant mind, the raven is the animal that Edgar Allen Poe ranted about in his infamous poem, not a team of football players. Yet, throughout the next few hours, I joined many Americans in indulging in the yearly tradition, but certainly not through traditional means.
In the quiet burrow of the library, I found myself consistently scanning through the social media website - Twitter - for updates of the game. The beginning was slow with only a few ordinary – and frankly irrelevant – tweets regarding The Ravens’ significant lead over the 49-ers.
However, as the excitement boosted in my followers’ tweets due to the highly awaited performance of Beyoncé, so did my own anticipation.
I spotted a tweet that read “Just waiting for Beyoncé.” As I sat at in Dinand’s reading room to the soundtrack of the various printers, I, too, was ‘just waiting for Beyoncé.’
I wondered, “Will she be another Janet Jackson mistake? ... She will obviously outperform the zombie showing from the Black Eyed Peas in 2011.”
Yet, I still did not feel obligated to leave the remote containers of the library to satisfy my exhilaration.
Finally, America’s favorite goddess entered the stage around 8:15 p.m., according to the first of many tweets regarding her performance.
I immediately brushed aside Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and glued my eyes to the incoming flow of tweets on my screen. My eyes flashed back and forth, as the tweets compiled at a faster and faster pace over the next ten minutes.
I was able to envision the R&B singer dancing to “Bootylicious” while looking fabulous, as all of my tweets unanimously reported. I was absolutely thrilled about the Destiny’s Child reunion, my childhood dream team, as I eagerly hoped that the trio would perform their soul sister anthem, “Say My Name.”
I laughed, I smiled in agreement, and I laughed more, all from simply reading tweets written in 140 characters or less.
When the New Orleans stadium lost power, the hilarity only deepened in my library corner. Truthfully, imagining an army of bewildered football players along with a sea of frenzied spectators scrambling in the dark was utterly hysterical. Experiencing this through an uproar of jokes and wit was even more exhilarating for me than solely staring at an unlit range of turf on the television screen, pretending to care while I shove Doritos in my mouth.
Clearly, social media can lead to increased human isolation. After all, envision this lonesome nerd at the library, snickering by herself at acquaintances’ online commentaries on one of the biggest social nights of the year. Can someone hashtag “loser?”
Nevertheless, it is rather moving how Twitter has the ability to entice someone who was entirely uninterested in the event. Individual voices – from the sarcastic, to the enthusiastic, to the bitter, to the blunt – truly possess alluring appeal.
These brief written commentaries captured my attention, persuaded me to return in anticipation for more, and provoked emotions of laughter and awe. In essence, I underwent a parallel experience by watching the game through a live streaming of rhetoric in comparison to those who viewed the game through a live streaming of video and sound.
Academics, journalists, parents, and others are constantly questioning technology’s changing effect on individuals’ lives and broader society. The reality is, however, that it is nearly impossible to detect. It can be assumed that my untraditional involvement with the Super Bowl last Sunday would have never occurred twenty years ago. Is that necessarily a negative development?
Twitter allowed me to connect to the American tradition through a means in which a writer can relate – through rhetoric. A football game’s constant pauses and muttered delivery of needless, sport statistics do not retain my attention.
In contrast, candid remarks from everyday individuals about the unexpected commercials, Beyoncé’s ability to effectively booty-pop as a new mother, and how Bane will creep out from the shadows of the powerless stadium wholeheartedly welcomed me to the entertainment of the athletic event.
Perhaps, my ‘kick-off’ tweet to the game was just a bitter plea to join the Super Bowl festivities. Well, tweet, there it is. Thank you for inviting me, my brilliantly witty Twittersphere.