My love-hate relationship with IM

It all started in the fall of 1998 when my dorm’s newly wired ethernet network was switched on.

Turns out a lot of my stories start like that. The computer that I’d “built” with money I received after my high school graduation transformed itself from something resembling a boat anchor into a full duplex communications device. And like many of my friends at the time, I installed ICQ. This was really my first foray into online communication, outside of my high school experience with AOL.

It was only later in college, after AOL had freed AIM from the bonds of their service, that many of my friends started signing up and spending their time chatting with each other. By then, as I recall, I’d stopped using ICQ, as part of a drive to reduce the sources of anxiety in my life. You know, like when someone I knew came online, and I’d been waiting for them to come online all day, and for some reason they wouldn’t IM me even though they could see that I was online, and so I’d wonder why they weren’t saying hi, and I’d think about IMing them, but I didn’t really have anything to say, and since I had already been online, they should be IMing me to say hi first, etc.

Much to my friends’ displeasure, I was not creating an AIM account. Apparently this was unacceptable behavior, because one day one of my friends came into my room, sat at my computer, downloaded AIM, and created a user account for me with a username that I have to this day. It’s the account I rely on for work purposes, very rarely for personal communication.

So it was very amusing to discover a few weeks ago that one of my co-workers, I’m not quite sure whom, though several were in on it, created a Twitter account for me, with the username “justinsomnia“. This is interesting I thought, given my ongoing reticence to join, “I wonder what I’ll tweet?” And sure enough they tweeted for me. What a great bargain I thought. I get to continue being a Twitter non-user, but my blog’s persona can still participate in the conversation.

fake justinsomnia tweets

I tried a few times to guess the password that they’d used, not because I wanted to shut them down, but because I thought it’d be AWESOME and surreal if fake-justinsomnia actually turned out to be real-justinsomnia. And I thought it’d really trip out whoever was responsible for creating fake-justinsomnia if someone started tweeting some eerily accurate tweets.

The game only made me a little uncomfortable when people not in on the joke started following fake-justinsomnia, some friends, and even some strangers who’d stumbled upon my blog. But honestly I didn’t really care. Well turns out I wasn’t the only one uncomfortable with impersonating me. Today I got an email saying someone new was following fake-justinsomnia. Apparently the culprit updated fake-justinsomnia’s email address to mine. And I promptly changed the password.

So now I have a Twitter account through the most circuitous path imaginable. I wonder what I’m going to tweet? First order of business: come up with a better username!

Update: jstnwtt. What hath god wrought?



So are you saying there is no cheese cave in the works?

Since I said I’d follow you on twitter… I am :D

I’ve been having a lot of fun watching what fake-justinsomnia was coming up with. Pretty hilarious! But in the real world, seems like what you would tweet about would resemble your neat links… you could just try to find a way to connect your neatlink to your twitter stream so you just need to update one place :) Ya know, like the Facebook status update.

Marcia – yes, there is a cheese cave AND it has cheese in it!


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