December 3, 2010

If the Buddha Tweeted.

If the Buddha tweeted, chances are you’d see better Twitter entries than “I’m finally over my stupid cold. Stupid, stupid cold.”

I mean, really, what sounds more fulfilling, reading an intelligent, compelling, well-thought-out article or book (many of which, I’m willing to bet, sit patiently on your shelves waiting for your undivided attention) or reading the assorted brain-farts of Joe Schmo?

Apparently Twitter is betting on the latter, and for all I know, that may be the tidal shift of the culture: personalized micro-news. CNN’s motto in the 20th century was “All News, All The Time”; in the 21st century, Twitter and Facebook give us “All Irrelevant News, All the Time.”

There are some forces out there trying to counteract the irrelevant part, trying to give us reasons not to write “Who gives a sh!t?” under every friend’s “I just had a great breakfast” Facebook or Twitter update.  People who, despite the fact that it’s hard to deliver depth in 140 characters, still aspire to change the paradigm of the nascent social media. People who say, “I’ve just learned the most amazing things from having a cold.” (And then go on to explain so.) Or, “If you slice freshly-picked tomatoes, stack fresh mozzarella, add a smattering of basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil and a dash of pepper, your day is guaranteed to start with a smile.” (That, except in 140 characters – damn my loquacious nature!)

If the Buddha tweeted, I’d follow him. But only if Jesus tweeted too. And Gandhi. And Lao-Tzu.

Actually, only Lao-Tzu seems like a good candidate for Twitter. “LaoTzu: The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.” Cool. Fits in a tidy 140-character package and provides plenty to chew on. “LaoTzu: The Master leads by emptying people’s minds and filling their cores by weakening their ambition and toughening their resolve.” Oooh! Aaaaah! Ommmmm! “LaoTzu: Practice not-doing, and everything will fall into place.” My mind is sent to a place of stillness with that one. “LaoTzu: The Tao is like the eternal void: filled with infinite possibilities.” Hmmm… That reminds me of Deepak Chopra. I wonder if he’s on Twitter.

So, you see, apparently I only want enlightened beings for my online friendships. But I’m a little shallower than that. I want enlightened beings with a sense of humor. As in, “Jesus: Love thy neighbor as thyself. No, not just that neighbor. Her husband, too.”  Or, “Jesus: @MaggieJohnson: Yes, that’s my face on the toast. Being on a piece of toasted bread is really every world religion founder’s dream.”


“Buddha: The essence of the Middle Way: everything in moderation. Oh – including moderation. Just kidding.”

The problem is, I could see how pretty soon they’d run out of Wise Things to Say and pander to the masses and the lowest common denominator with silly stuff  like:

“Jesus: @PontiusPilate: Hey, who’s your new PR guy? ‘Cause way back when I knew you, nobody wanted to do Pilates! LOL!”

“Buddha: If you find the @Buddha on the road, check with me before you do anything that might put you before a judge, ‘kay?”

Yeah, I’m afraid this would happen. Which is why, ultimately, I’d just want to follow God:

God: Got a problem developing in the Big Dipper. It’s colliding with the Pleiades in 2 billion yrs. Suggestions, anyone?

God: Black Hole in center of Alpha Centauri is acting up again. Starting to feel like I just plug one hole for another one to start leaking.

God: Meeting at 10 with @Lucifer re: how long to let universe expand before packing it up & going home.

God: @Mildred Johnson: Please stop pestering. If you really want a new Honda, how about you work for it? I got my hands full with bigger things.

God: @Benedict16: Yes, you may sell all the art the Church owns, but not to fund sexual abstinence programs. That’s just plain silly.

God: @StephenHawking: I don’t believe you need to exist for the universe to exist either. So there.

Now that would be a Twitter feed worth subscribing to.

Photo credit: chotda

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