Do You Suffer From “Phantom Tweets?”

I’m on my way home from an unplugged vacation at a ranch near Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.

What an experience!

There was no coverage for my iPad, iPhone, or MIFI connected laptop.  Not even one bar.  None!  Dark Ages part two.

The odd thing is that my brain continued to spin for a couple days like I was still getting multiple tweets, texts, and emails every minute.  It was as if my brain was running in place waiting for the onslaught of messages that never came.

Do you get “Phantom Tweets” too?

It makes me wonder what is happening to our brains when 8pm Warriors spend all day and night checking emails, texts, tweets, and other messages while watching television, skyping, talking on the phone or chatting with family members.  Our brains must be adapting to this behavior.

Will humanity be changed forever?  Is this a good thing?

All I know is that my brain was acting like it was addicted to connection and I didn’t enjoy being unplugged.  I’m back now, and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the coming decades.  Will future generations even want to escape from the connected world?  What’s your take?

Have a great night!


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Published by Aaron Biebert

I'm a director, film/video exec producer, leader & 8pm Warrior. I am passionately chasing my goals at all times. I'm listening. Let's talk!

24 comments on “Do You Suffer From “Phantom Tweets?””

  1. Aaron, aloha. Whatever we get “used to” our systems crave because they become programmed by the repetitive activity.

    Will humans be changed forever? Without a doubt. Humans change all the time. Young people today have entirely different perceptions–spatial & conceptual–because of the way the world exists as they grow up.

    Is it better? Is it worse? It’s neither. It’s just the way it is.

    Did you have a good time? Are you glad to be back? Did you miss us? Those are the important questions for you to answer, Aaron.

    Best wishes for glorious rest of the weekend. Aloha. Janet

    1. Aloha Janet! I had a wonderful time and did miss you. It is tough to go “on vacation” from my work, my life, and the people I really enjoy from around the country and world. However, it was a good break. I’m energized!

      As for your comment, I would tend to agree. Things are how they are and the only thing that matters is our reaction. I think sometimes folks get so caught up with the change that they forget to deal with it. Thanks for the reminder. Your comments and thoughts are definitely one of the things missing on the ranch.

      Good to be back!

  2. it’s awful actually. i was grocery shopping and felt like talking to everyone i saw. total strangers, about milk and cereal. i blame twitter. i usually glower at people so they’ll keep their distance but i’ve met so many nice people on twitter who like to just chat that i’ve gotten used to it.
    maybe it’s not so awful, i’m not social at all, was very shy when young which has turned into a kind of surlyness that is now turning into – i don’t know what to call it. it feels wierd since the only social media we had when i was growing up was the phone and the fence. you just didn’t talk to strangers. but everything i do is a potential tweet and i don’t find it annoying that someone tweets what they had for lunch. people are more interesting than i thought i guess. yes, i’m forever changed.

    1. Cate, that is a great point. The changes we’re talking about have made some things better too. Often overlooked. I know that I my life would not be as rich without the people that I’ve connected with in this “new world” that we keep talking about. I guess that’s what makes it hard to leave it.

      Anyway, I’m glad that it changed you and that we’ve connected on Twitter as well. You enrich my life.

  3. Yes! We went to visit family last weekend and even though my hands were too full of kids to tweet, I still found myself thinking in 140 characters or less. I jotted them all down and wrote a post about them once we got back. It’s hard to unplug sometimes, but refreshing.

  4. I think we’re evolving! Brainwaves are electrical impulses as are incoming calls, tweets, emails, etc. Could it be that all this “connection” is allowing our brains to become more aware of these electrical signals coming from other people.

    I don’t know what you, but my wife ALWAYS says “I was just thinking about calling you!” when she gets a phone call – and she’s not just saying it.

    She’s started telling me when she thinks of a random person and the phone will ring a second later. It’s wild.

    1. Graham, it seems that you may be on to something. Jill Natalie sent me this tweet and I highly recommend you check out the link she shared. Fascinating stuff:

      @JatalieDesign said:

      @Biebert Your post reminds me of the science behind the book The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge″

  5. This post brings up a topic that has come up often: work-life balance and the true nature of vacation. The key word you masterfully inserted there was “unplugged”. We all can’t afford the time or money to travel, or maybe we don’t enjoy travel, but we all owe ourselves some time to “just be” and break from the mundane, the daily routine, whether that means more quality time with your loved ones, star gazing for a few hours, or whatever. Thanks for sharing, Aaron – go 8PM Warriors (LOVE that concept, BTW)!

    1. Yomar, after this vacation I completely agree with you that regardless of how odd it feels at first, it’s a healthy thing to take a break and unplug. A change of pace is always good for the brain.

      Also, thanks for the support with the 8pm Warrior community. It’s really starting to come together. Thank you.

  6. Nicely put, Aaron. Humans are built as creatures of habit, it seems.

    Some folks find meditation and similar practices help keep us heavily connected folks more flexible in the brain pan :)

  7. When I’m away from my online connections, I can’t stop thinking of things that I wish I could post. For example, if someone says something funny I wish I could quote them on my Facebook profile. Or while I’m driving I will think of something I want to Tweet. I’ve also started having social network incorporations into my dreams. I’ll dream a fairly average dream but in it, I am tweeting or there is a new comment on my blog that I have to approve.

  8. I now tweet while watching TV etc. We’re constantly multi-tasking, and it struck me at the weekend that I don’t live a ‘normal’ life any more as I’m constantly online in some form. I love the convenience of it, but feel we’ve lost the ability to just shut the door at night and ‘switch off’ (in every sense).

  9. It doesn’t bother me at all. At least when I’m on vacation. I’ve learned the last few years not to take my work with me. I’m also not a tweethead or Facebook junky, so that makes it even easier. However, online access is important to my work, and if it goes down during a busy day I may become a little agitated.

  10. My name is Laura and I get the phantom tweets and emails. Smart phones keep us plugged unless we turn them off. This happened to me in Easter where I found myself happily tweeting about my ”vacation.”

    I’ve always had a short attention span but I see people are joining me. Our brains may be evolving (anyone offer to research that?) but we can definitely agree that we’re adapting these technologies sooner. Toddlers are playing Angry Birds on iPads and I’ve seen my fair share of kids under 10 with smart phones.

    People are becoming more accustomed to these habits and I don’t see them going away soon.

    1. Speaking of research, on twitter @JatalieDesign said:

      @Biebert Your post reminds me of the science behind the book The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge″

      I recommend checking out the book link. Fascinating stuff.

  11. Ah, yes, I get this. I’m at home on maternity leave now and as I was nursing my newborn the other day, I noticed that I was surrounded by tech (smartphone, tablet, laptop, plus Kindle and TV remote a few inches away) just to be connected with the world. So much for bonding when my hands and eyes are busy taking me places around the world and virtually away from the baby in my arms. Hmm…I think I need to write a post about that.

  12. I’m a software engineer by trade and yet sometimes I just can’t stand technology. I can tell most people more about the insides of their own smartphones than they realized, and yet I have always hated telephones. There are many times where I go into an almost black-out state and ignore my e-mail and other social networking for days. More than once I’ve envied the Amish. If it’s possible to embrace techonolgical advancement and detest it at the same time, that’s what I do.

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