Saturday, July 16, 2011

What happens to a dream deferred?

My Yahoo email account, which I keep around as a spam filter, was recently upgraded, and somehow an email from August 2003 was recovered and showed up in my drafts folder. Here's what it said:
I had a kissing dream last night--I was kissing Tom Hanks! I don't know if it was directly him or if he was playing someone else. I was in his car, which was a Buick or something, and we had just gotten haircuts so there were all these little snips of hair stuck to the upholstery on the seats, mingling together, and he pointed at it and said it was a sign that we were sexually compatible.

I also dreamt I had to trek across the country largely on foot to meet my family at this Mexican restaurant in El Paso called The Riviera.

Are you really bored by other people's dreams?
That last question was part of the email, but feel free to answer it. (There are no rhetorical questions, just rhetorical answers.) I sure am. Bored, that is.

P.S. I'm sure many of you have noticed that I went ahead and got on the Google+, though I haven't posted or shared anything yet. Why is it I find Facebook and Google+ boring but continue to enjoy Twitter and blogs? It's not immediately apparent to me. But a few things seem to be true:
  • Though Google+ is ostensibly more private, I feel more freedom to say whatever I want on Twitter, because I assume few people are actually paying attention. I assume my blabbing will largely get lost in the noise.
  • I associate Twitter with jokes and chatter and Facebook et al. with signaling and self-promotion. Of course you can use Twitter for self-promotion too, but I don't follow people who use it that way. Maybe I feel more freedom to follow only who I want to on Twitter?
  • I do like that strangers can follow you on Google+: that's one of the reasons I prefer blogging/microblogging to Facebook. When I'm online, I don't only want to talk to my friends.


  1. oh, facebook is definitely full of jokes and chatter. it does seem less casual though.

    at least among the people i'm fb friends with, there's not that much self-promotion. not an overwhelming amount anyway. not that i think there's anything wrong with self-promotion...just *too much* of it.

  2. So my full name is too long for twitter's name field, which means my twitter account isn't googleable, which I think makes my twitter persona a lot more freewheeling than my FB persona (or my blog persona) could possibly be. And yes, the fact that you're not talking to an audience of your friends is a plus.

    Haven't figured out what to do w/ GOOG+ but I'm not entirely pessimistic about it yet -- esp. if they integrate it w/ Google reader.

  3. G+ is hopefully more casual than FB. I want to just circulate articles, documents, blogposts, etc that I find stimulating/useful in regards to creativity/writing. I feel those things are lost in FB and nobody reads my blog. If they can take a message board approach to keeping current commented posts higher up in a feed it could work out well (or maybe a filter by +# option). That way one could keep popular conversations going while adding new content. Currently with FB posts just sink down into never land.

    I feel my twitter is only for promoting writing through line collector, but it burns me out pretty quick. I feel like I turn my back for a second and I miss something, which is a draining feeling.

    Hope you post on G+!

  4. Who was your dreamy email destined for?

    And to answer the Q: I am so not bored by other people's dreams. In Iowa City earlier this week, a couple other people and I were talking about dreams and trying to insinuate yourself into those of other people. The person who's idea this was had thought of it before INCEPTION and she said one of her theories was to try to do really "imageistic" things so that whoever you're hanging out with will associate those images with you and then dream about you that not. Not necessarily *with* the images, but because of them.

  5. Crap. Not "that not"--"that night."

  6. One of the reasons I like blogging, and have avoided Facebook so far, is what you said, Elisa, that it's possible for strangers to find the blog and follow it. Last I knew, it's not possible to Google the content of Facebook posts. (I don't know whether that may have changed, though it appears still to be the case as far as I can tell. Or at least Facebook content doesn't seem to Google as easily as blog content.)

    The things I write in my blog, I want to be as publicly visible as possible.

    I've thought about maybe doing something with Twitter, but I haven't yet set up an account. That's mostly just a matter of only so many hours in a day -- I can't imagine I'd find time to Twitter about things, with everything else I'm doing. And most of the things that seem worth saying likely wouldn't fit in the 140 character limit.

    I don't necessarily find people's dreams boring, I guess it depends on the context and the particular person. (Interesting that you ask this question in the same post that you talk about Facebook and Twitter and Google+.)

  7. Jeremiah, I never worry about what I miss when I'm not on Twitter, but I'm on Twitter most of the day during the week (not on the weekends), since I'm just sitting around at my desk job anyway. I don't try to catch up on missed time, I just keep an eye on my own mentions.

    Lyle, see above: I think Twitter works best for people who are tied to a computer all day anyway, and have built-in free time (i.e., you're not working nonstop from 8 to 5).

  8. when i get back from lunch and when i get home at night during the week i always scroll back to see what i missed while i was away. i hate the idea of a conversation going on that i missed out on—i even worry that my absence will be seen as deliberate. that's why i wish twitter had an indicator telling people whether you're online or not, like gchat or facebook does.

  9. Could just be deja vu but I feel like I've read your T Hanks dream before!

  10. I don't think so, but maybe you've HAD that dream before!