It’s no secret that technology changes the way that people interact. It’s also no secret that drunk people will try to interact with other people no matter what kind of technology they’re using. If a telephone’s the only thing in sight, you may dial your friend (or mom) and slur about your love for them. If you’ve got a cell phone at hand, you may rattle off a few error-laden text messages to the guy you’re seeing or the girl you just broke up with. And if you’ve got a Twitter account, you just may publicize your state of inebriation to all of your followers.
On Friday, during the Recording Academy’s Social Media Rock Stars Summit, singer Adam Lambert participated in a discussion about social media, and his comments about tweeting under the influence grabbed more than a few headlines—yeah, it must have been a slow news day (Oh wait, that was the day that Mubarak left office). Lambert said that sometimes he doesn’t realize something he posts is offensive until after he posts it, “especially after a couple of drinks.” He said:
Drunk tweeting is not good. You have to be careful, because it is a broadcast, and newspapers will quote you from your tweets.
There are a bunch of names for it, but whether you call it “twunking,” “dreeting,” or even “shitfaced tweeting,” drunk tweeting isn’t too difficult to spot. A basic typo is your first clue, and if there are four or five tweets within a few minutes about the same topic, the opinion expressed growing more intense with each message, you can pretty much bet that alcohol is involved. If the user tweets at a celebrity or posts a TwitPic, often a poorly framed shot trying to artfully depict a beer bottle or a group “cheers” circle, that’s all the confirmation you need.
Drunk tweeting isn’t all bad. In fact, sometimes keeping your Twitter feed nearby on a Friday or Saturday night can provide for some entertaining talking points with friends. That girl you know from class may be counting down how much wine is left in the bottle while progressively making more and more offensive comments about her friends. Or that dude from work may become increasingly vocal about how much he misses his ex, and the deflated “Sometimes I jst feel lik I coukd never have pleased her anyway” quickly becomes “She doesn’t evn know wht te fk sheill be missing in few weeks.” The stream-of-consciousness that far too many people express in their sober, day-to-day Twitter use becomes even more pronounced when they’re buzzing.
There’s definitely a difference between the politics behind drunk dialing, drunk texting, and drunk tweeting, as Lambert pointed out: On Twitter, you’re a publisher without a filter, and those “Sooo durnkkk Friday woooo!!11m” texts you’re used to sending out to your friends suddenly have a much larger audience, and that can be embarrassing in the morning.
For anyone especially prone to over-sharing while intoxicated, there’s hope! New software called Webroot allows you to set a filter that requires you to prove your sobriety—or at least your basic motor skills—during certain hours of the night before allowing you to post to social media. It’s likely a life-saver for some people … but let’s hope not everyone discovers its merits. Twitter browsing for unintentionally hilarious comments are generally my favorite way to kick off any Sunday morning.