“Legs have fallen off after the four day trek and slightly over-dosed on the coca leaves, someone resuscitate me” said my status update the day after my Inca Trail journey.
There is only so much you can say in 140 characters without sounding boring. If entertainment is what my readers want, entertainment they’ll get.
“What happened? Are you hurt? Have you seen a doctor? I thought you said the trip will be safe!” came the reply; my update did not sit well with the father, who is new to this whole social network concept, and had mistaken that his daughter had been in a bad accident and had her legs chopped off.
After an hour on the phone explaining not only that I was simply expressing my exhaustion in a dramatic way, I was also obliged to educate the parents in reading status updates.
Never believe the literal meanings of them. If I were seriously hurt, do you think I would be on Twitter at all? (Actually, don’t answer that, even I can’t be sure).
Losing the old ways
Have you noticed that we don’t send postcards anymore?
I used to be so keen on sending postcards to family and friend, collecting the stamps from around the world by sending letters to myself, and being on the phone for hours talking about the most recent adventure.
Nowadays, the social networking tools have replaced that human touch and we no longer bother explaining things in detail anymore, expecting others to understand what we mean when we say ‘Trip was good. Now I rest’ through our tweets and status updates.
Of course, I still do enjoy writing out the details of my trip. I keep a blog where I can describe in detail what I have been up to, where I have been and whether I am really up to no good; however there is nothing more discouraging in keeping this up when you realize no one is reading.
As it turns out, most people still prefer to read status updates. We simply don’t have the patience to read anymore.
Why some prefer status updates
I can’t help it. It’s just too easy. Postage cost money, and it’s hard to choose who my favorite family members are to send postcards to; not to mention, by the time I purchased the postcards, had them written and manage to find the post office, managed to make them understand where I want to send the postcards to for the postage, I’ve wasted all the sightseeing time I could’ve had.
A lot of the hotels around the world now offer free internet, and you don’t want to spend your whole day on them writing out a descriptive email to every one of the things you have been up to. It’s likely that no one ever read them anyway.
A quick hi-I-am-still-alive through tweets and status updates not only is an effective way reporting my safety, it is also just a ‘teaser’ to all those people who are stuck at work while I travel. They are spared from reading long emails and those who really have an interest in what I have to say will visit me at my blog.
So you see, you really can travel through my tweets and status updates, you just won’t get the full picture.
Have you accidentally sent a status update on your trip that created confusion at home? What are your preferences in keeping in touch when traveling? Let us know in the comments below.