Millions of smartphone, tablet, and computer owners around the world were still waiting early this morning for news of a local man’s Monday morning run.
The man, Thurston Howell, 44, had a 6-mile run scheduled for today, according to several previous social media posts. Howell’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts indicate he was awake as early as 5:30 a.m. and preparing for his run. Howell shared with his followers the fact that he slept well, was enjoying “a yummy smoothie,” and had pooped. Howell’s last post, on Twitter, was shared at 6:26 a.m.
And then, nothing. As recently as 7:50 a.m., Howell had not updated any of his social media accounts.
“How was his run?” asked Roy Hinkley, a Facebook user in Cincinnati, Ohio. “Good? Bad? Just so-so? Your guess is as good as mine.”
“I don’t know if (Howell) is trying to torture us,” said Ginger Grant, a friend of a friend who follows Howell on Twitter. “But that’s the effect it’s having. I don’t know how I’m supposed to function today until I hear how his run went—and, ideally, see a photo of his shoes or something.”
The effects of Howell’s silence spread across platforms and around the world, as increasingly frantic social media users refreshed pages and checked apps over and over, hoping to see something—anything—about Howell’s run.
“Our servers are really working overtime,” said Jonas Grumby, a spokesperson for Twitter. “I wish this Howell guy would just post something already. People are clearly desperate for information.”