Every once in a while my Twitter stream temporarily dries up for no particular reason at all.
I completely understand why people tweet less often on big holidays, after a tragedy, or during a storm that’s large enough to cause blackouts for a few hours or days.
When it happens on a completely ordinary day, though, I wonder what’s going on with everyone. The people I follow on Twitter come from many different time zones and countries. Many of them tend to share my interests in writing, science, and cute rabbit pictures, but they also have a wide variety of other obsessions.
It’s probably heavily influenced by confirmation bias, of course, but an amusing picture still forms in my head every time it happens.
Imagine an old, comfortable pub. Its hardwood floors are heavily scuffed from many years of use. The wooden panels on the walls have weathered the passage of time better, although they’re beginning to show a few, subtle signs of their true age as well.
Everyone currently missing from the online world is sitting around a large, round table eating delicious things like fish and chips. There’s a wide assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, too.
“Lydia!” someone says. “It’s about time you got here.”
“What’s going on here?”
“Our secret Twitter meeting, of course.”
“Since when do we have secret meetings?”
“Oh, it started happening about the first time you noticed how quiet everyone was online that one day. We were hoping you’d figure out where everyone really goes on those days soon.”
And then we’d eat, drink, and laugh the night away. Maybe next time a few more old online friends will string all of the clues together and figure out exactly where it is we’re meeting and how to figure out the date and time in advance.
What funny things do you imagine when you notice something slightly out of the ordinary?