Over the last few months I’ve been following several keywords on Twitter such as hygiene, infection and of course germs. In the process, I’ve found something absolutely fascinating that truly highlights the reach of Twitter as a true information globalization tool.
While there are always about one to two hundred tweets a day that include at least one of the three above terms, the greatest density normally occurs when there is a trending hashtag defining a person’s requirement for romance. For example, over the last few days, there has been one such tag, #icantbewithsomeone and it’s been a joy to see how many people truly believe that hygiene is an important factor in a relationship. Tweets claiming such messages as “#icantbewithsomeone with bad personal hygiene” or “#icantbewithsomeone who isn’t clean, I hate germs” popped up in the hundreds over the course of the day. Granted, these did not make up the majority on the topic but it was encouraging to see that hygiene and germs are a real factor in deciding who will enter your personal space and have a romantic effect on your life.
That being said, a tweet is nothing more than a 140 character momentary declaration and that what might be said today (or this hour) may not be the same tomorrow (or in the next hour). Yet there is a power one sees when the same message is repeated (not retweeted) tens or hundreds of times. It makes you believe that in some ways, there can be a general consensus in the world that conjoins us and that if we were all able to work together, we actually could make some significant changes in our lives and the lives of others.
This isn’t new, I know. A quick look at the Top Twitter Trends of 2009 shows that the world came together in times of struggle (#iranelection), fear (#swineflu) and grief (Michael Jackson). But what if the world came together for something more personal?Could we make a trend that transcends the tweet and helps to change our individual lives in an indelible way?
I think it’s possible. After all, germs are not going to disappear, romance will always live on and there are only a few instances when one would ever say: “I Love That My Germs Are Now YOUR Germs…” Perhaps hygiene can be a way to bring the world closer. I just don’t know and worse, even if I did, I have no idea how to make it happen. But I also don’t believe in turning away from something tangible and based on the tweets of those looking for romance, I figure that we might have the right mix to make a worldly romance for hygiene that lasts.
I’ll end with a quote that always resonates with me when I get these feelings. As John Lennon sang, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.”
All I’ll add is: “…a more hygienic one.”