Social proprioception

Because I haven’t blogged about Twitter in a couple of weeks, here’s Clive Thompson on how Twitter’s creating a social sixth sense:

When I see that my friend Misha is “waiting at Genius Bar to send my MacBook to the shop,” that’s not much information. But when I get such granular updates every day for a month, I know a lot more about her. And when my four closest friends and worldmates send me dozens of updates a week for five months, I begin to develop an almost telepathic awareness of the people most important to me.

It’s like proprioception, your body’s ability to know where your limbs are. That subliminal sense of orientation is crucial for coordination: It keeps you from accidentally bumping into objects, and it makes possible amazing feats of balance and dexterity.

Twitter and other constant-contact media create social proprioception. They give a group of people a sense of itself, making possible weird, fascinating feats of coordination.

I seem to have a knack for these things

Earlier this evening, I set about installing a ceiling fan and light kit in one of the bedrooms. It’s the room the little phisch is going to be moving in to, and for this week, we have a temporary addition to the family in the form of a one year-old, and he’s sleeping in this particular room. Because of this little man, we put up one of our kiddie gates at the bottom of the stairs.
I did as much as I could with the ceiling fan, including learning that I’d picked out the wrong light kit. At least I could get the fan done. However, I ran in to a problem with the wiring, and my good friend and neighbor, Drew, was kind enough to come over and help. (Drew did a lot of contracting work growing up and during his college years, so he’s handy that way.)
Thank God he did. On my way down the stairs, to go to the garage and hit the circuit in the breaker box for that particular bedroom, I didn’t quite make it all the way over the baby gate. As I was stepping over it with my left leg, my foot/shoe became entangled in the gate, and proceeded to turn in to a fulcrum. Great pain ensued as my foot twisted ways it shouldn’t, and I went down, taking the gate with me.
The cry that erupted from my throat, along with the noise of my crash, proceeded to bring Drew running from the second floor, my wife from the kitchen, and greatly upset the little phisch. The thought which immediately ran through my head was that I’d managed to break my ankle, which would give me something of a matched set. (Eight years ago I fractured my right ankle.)
I crawled to the love seat and Drew helped me up off the floor. My wife got an ice pack out of the freezer while Drew got my foot elevated. After about twenty minutes, we made the decision that it would be better to be safe than sorry, and off to an after-hours clinic Drew and I went.
The good news is no broken bones. The bad news is that it’s a really severe sprain, the tearing of ligaments and tendons and whatnot. I’ve got on a boot, and will have to do the crutches thing as well. And I’ve been typing this whole blog post loaded up with some Demorol, so if it seems a little off, it’s because I’m on the good stuff.
In the mean time, I thank our Father in Heaven for friends like Drew.