When Twitter Becomes TMI

[Warning tender readers: this entry is mildly rant-like...]

Okay, so I joined the ranks of the Twitterati more than a month ago. I'm not sure what inspired this shameless foray into hipness, but I did it. I have six people following me, most of whom I don't know, which is weird. Especially weird when you consider that my updates are 1) infrequent; and 2) boring.

Anyway, I joined Twitter and among the two or three people I follow is cycling legend Lance Armstrong. I feel ambivalent about this, honestly. On the one hand, I've been following Lance in general since his first Tour de France victory in 1999. I bought a Trek carbon fiber bike that year, the same frame ridden by Lance to victory. We have a bond.

Since then, at Christmas, I've been given a VHS video/DVD of every Tour victory of his. I have seven in all. I guess that makes me a fan... I am now following Lance's comeback to pro cycling with mixed emotions. Part of me, as an aging midlifer, is exhilarated by his pluck and courage. His sheer chutzpah. But the rest of me wants to say, "Lance, give it a rest." Focus on your kids, your anti-cancer campaign, something else. It's time for a new leader.

So, I come to his and other "tweets" (those 140 character or less posts that update each Twitter account) with a mixture of curiosity and disdain. I'm interested in his jet-setting cycling lifestyle, his exotic training rides in Hawaii, Nice, and now Aspen. But do I really need to know that he and his kids had a pizza for dinner last night? Do I really care what new shoes Nike has made for him? Or do I need a new angle on his custom Trek Madone bicycle? Give me a break!

Twitter allows us common folk unprecedented entry into the life of the rich and famous. Doesn't Shaq now have more than half a million followers? Hasn't Ashton Kutcher surpassed CNN in subscribers? Sheesh. As "twitterati" we feel a bond with the "glitterati." But give me a break: at some point the sheer banality of Twitter will reveal that they are just like us--and frankly, not that much more interesting. Maybe that's the point. Maybe Twitter levels the playing field and creates the ultimate democracy. But still, there's this amazing arrogance among celebrity Tweeters: they honestly think that we hang on every detail of their lives. And maybe we do. But that's unfortunate.

The fact is, all of us, whether celebrities or simple folk, are uniquely special and we matter to God. So let's beware the arrogance (and the voyeurism!) and realize that God plays no favorites. God loves each one of us.

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