If your stomach had thumbs, what would it tweet?

One of the more ennervating Twitter phenomena seems to be the constant need to update what one is eating. I’ve done it plenty of times, but now I check myself when I get the urge. But wait, I went to Shake Shack with @Soniamoghe and had a delicious, gloppy shack stack. Shouldn’t you care?  If you weren’t there, chances are you don’t,  and you don’t want to read about it either. Why then do so many people put this bit of biological info on the Web when certain other private details stay private?  Needless to say, I’m very curious why people are so apt to tweat (Twitter + Eat).

While scanning through Twitter updates I saw that Twitter CEO, Biz Stone, is “waiting for thai take-out on newbury st — who says there’s no tofu in beantown?” @MclellandJohn ordered Chinese food from Empire Corner and he also got into his first choice seminar on Orientalism with Rashid Khalidi. I wonder if the schedule announcement influenced his choice of cuisine.  Elsewhere in New York,  @khoi is at 5 napkin Burge[r], and @SheilaS is “Yummy steak @ Airport Steakhouse in Hutchinson KS.”

It would seem then that Twitter is all about food. One need look no farther than my tweeps’  handles. There’s  @tunabanans, @parislemon, @Sosauce and @asaucyintruder.

It’s about 10PM in New York, but it’s dinner time elsewhere in the great U-S of A.  If I were to do a search of food related words, I’m sure the volume would swell at 9, 12 and 6. (New updates with the word “yummy” pour in in 5-10 per minute)

While tweating may be omnipresent, many people can’t stand it. My friend and social media strategist, @Fernandorizo, wrote “that shit is killing Twitter.” Rizo said that the difference between Twitter and a chat room is that on Twitter you’re selectively broadcasting who receives your updates and at times the results can be truly wonderful.

“I’m having pancakes!!” and “I hate this episode of House” seem, on the surface, to be similar. Tweets out into the ether, directed at no one in particular. But the difference is, the latter is implicitly inviting people to discuss tonight’s episode of House, because that’s a shared experience. Your goddamn pancakes are not a shared experience, because only you ate them. No one but you can speak intelligently on the subject of your goddamn pancakes. It’s kind of like the futility of trying to explain a dream you had to someone else. Nobody is ever going to care about your dream the way you do.

Well articulated, Rizo, though I don’t entirely agree that it’s a useless exercise.

I asked if @Foodimentary had every been swayed by a tweat. The popular tweeter whose once-a-day food facts page has over 71,000 followers said, “Yes. Someone tweeted about chocolate cake and had to go make one.  So funny. Power of suggestion! :^)” Clearly, not everyone thinks writing about food on Twitter is a waste. “[E]veryone eats, said Foodimentary. ” [i]t’s universal. everyone eats.  it’s also not controversial, unless you have an extreme view.”   How deliciously succinct.

As inane as it sounds, eating is one of the few activities all humans have in common and everyday, as varied as cuisine from Ethiopia and Mexico might be, we rely on food to sustain our life. Eating is inherently  a social activity and a Twitter is a social media tool, so it’s natural that the two would go together, though to the ire of some.

A good meal is more than the sum of its parts. Food + friends + great conversation =  a recipe for a an unforgettable experience. Only in the past half century we have foregone the common afernoon meal, instead spending “working lunches” at our desk spilling crumbs onto the keyboard.  Lucas in Binbrook, Ontario said via Aardvark, “[i]t is common for people to be eating by themselves and cuz twitter can be reached through their phone it is a natural assosciation – plus they dont feel as alone.” Perhaps the Tweat is a way to rekindle a sense of communal dining and share a meal with the people of our choice.

Thanks to Lucas I might just  have the solution. The next time you find yourself irked by a Tweat talking about a wonderdul snack of apples and cheese, call the offender, find out where he or she is and invite yourself to lunch. You might be so happy you have to Tweat.


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