Yeah. And it is funny. That I don’t mind as much. I’m always curious to see how I’m going to be introduced because I will sometimes be introduced as Twitter’s Poet Laureate, which, what is that even? Or a tweet will be mentioned, or I’ll just be introduced as the author of “Rape Joke,” which is always the weirdest one, because it really takes you out of the moment of performing. But I thought it would be much more fun in the book to reduce the narrator’s experience of fame just to that single introduction. You are known for this stupid, fucking tweet about dogs, and whether they can be twins.
I have to ask about “can a dog be twins.” What was your process for coming up with that?
It just hit me, because you have to create something that is plausible, something that would go viral, that a lot of people would share. And there’s always a level of inanity to the real ones that can spread wildfire and really capture the public imagination. There’s always an element of idiocy too. It’s also mysticism too—it’s like a Zen koan.
Do you read the books and articles about how social media is eroding all our brains and we should be quitting?
I don’t. But I feel like I’ve gotten some questions so far that are verging on that. It’s like, “Well, you’ve truly written a book that shows us why we should get offline.” And it’s like, that’s not what I did. It probably is a little bit of an inkblot where people will see what they want to see about the internet.
We’re all chipped now. I mean, the internet is inside us. It’s no longer an externality. We can’t get away from that. You can do some Alias thing where you rip the chip out and you throw it in the river, but it’s too late, man. We’re not getting offline.
Earlier you mentioned that you never use Twitter to argue. When did you draw that line in the sand?
It’s not even a promise I had to make to myself. It’s something I’m incapable of doing. And I do think that that’s why it got so difficult for me on Twitter when you log on and you initially see a bite-sized argument, and that’s the first thing you experience. I really, really hate conflict. I grew up in a very screamy household. I just shut down and depersonalize when people are arguing around me. I don’t know that it’s this great, virtuous principle that I’m upholding, as opposed to, “Okay, other people can do that. And I will post a cat picture.”
What do you think it would take to get you off of Twitter? I mean, at some point we will all abandon the platform.
It should’ve happened a long time ago. I did have the thought to have my final tweet be on the day of my book release—just have it be “can a dog be twins” and then disappear.
I think it’ll just fade away gradually. I’ve thought about it. There was a last time you looked at MySpace, right? There was a last time that you logged into AOL Instant Messenger. There’s going to be the last time that you get on Twitter. When’s it going to be?
Your husband is not very online, right?
Yeah. It’s fun. If you ask him for a quote, he will tell you very strongly that social media has made people “insane.”
“People.” “The world.” “My wife who’s sitting next to me on the couch” is really the thrust of it. He gets that edge in his voice, and he’s really saying, “My wife has been made insane.” I’m like, “Oh, ah, enjoy the money, bitch. The internet made you this money. It paid for the food you’re eating right now from fucking Uber Eats that we order three times a week because we’re living in the final stages of a dying civilization.”