Custom artwork by yours truly
Note: This is what happens when there are no stock photos of a Twitter bird hugging a tornado. Am I expected to do all the work around here?
I'm a worrier by nature. I'm also a rule-follower. Therefore when the "National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Davidson County," I take cover.
I'm not going to be the person who saw there was a warning, ignored it, and is then on the 6:00 news looking all disheveled and traumatized saying "well it had never happened before so I didn't do anything and then my roof blew off and a brick smacked me in the face. Also it sounded like a freight train."
Over the last year or so I've managed to reign it in to minor butterflies rather than borderline panic attack, so I say that's progress. But I often still find myself thinking, "THIS COULD BE IT. THIS COULD BE THE TIME. No one ever thinks it will happen to them but SOMETIMES it does!"
It's possible that because 90 percent of the things you worry about never happen to you (or so they say), I am single-handedly protecting the Nashville area with my hyper-awareness. You can thank me by sending edible arrangements and muffin baskets if you want. Or bring me coffee. I like double vanilla lattes with skim milk.
Anyway, what I've noticed recently is that yet another glorious thing on the long list of reasons why I love Twitter is that it makes storms less scary.
Suddenly it's not just you and your cat huddled in the tiny hallway bathroom, but you and thousands of other people doing the same thing: grumbling about being woken up, commentating on the local weather people, trying to determine what level of frightened you should be.
We've become a community.
NashSevereWX is a huge part of that.
If you don't live in Nashville, or if you do but you just boycott Twitter for some nonsensical reason, this guy (though I think there are now two) has a day job but still pours immense amounts of time and effort into live-tweeting weather updates specifically for Nashville. He makes maps with helpful arrows, he narrows it down by neighborhood, and most of all, he has perfect bedside manner. He tells us what we need to know without scaring us. He tells us if we should wake up our kids or let them sleep. (I of course use "our" very broadly, here.) He tells us when each neighborhood can safely go back to sleep, even if the siren is still going off. He responds personally to nearly everyone's questions. I think he even has all of his own equipment, and he does it out of the goodness of his heart. It truly is amazing.
We can all sleep soundly knowing NashSevere is out there, watching over us. He's basically Batman.
I think all of Nashville should pool together our money and get him the largest-amount gift card of all time to say thank you. How do you say thank you for something like that?
Anyway, between him and the rest of Nashville all tweeting and Instagramming our little hearts out at 3am, it really makes Nashville feel a lot smaller. And somehow safer. And almost...fun.
I KNOW I KNOW. It's ludicrous.* Sideways rain and howling winds are occasionally one percent fun for me. And that wouldn't be possible without Twitter.
Do you look at Twitter during storms? ALSO are you one of those who sleeps through bad weather or are you a vigilante like me?
*REAL TALK: I attempted to spell that word "Ludacris," and genuinely didn't know what the alternative was. So there's that. Thanks a lot, Luda. Aca-awkward.