Oh, For the Love of Twitter

Okay, Twitter.

I’m trying to love you, nay, like you. It took me forever to join your bandwagon. When I first logged on a couple of years ago, I tried to figure out the “follow” thing. (Can I really follow him? I don’t even know him.) I’ve been so conditioned to asking people before I “friend” them on Facebook. Your etiquette is so foreign.

Over the months, I figured out what you were about. Only I didn’t love it. People used you to rant. They also used you to promote. Especially self promote. Lots and lots of self love on you, Twitter. 

Now, I have seen tweeters tweet-loving on other tweeters, too. That’s nice. Until it becomes this weird inner circle thing all of a sudden I’m not a part of. Which is okay, because I don’t know the tweeters inside this circle. But all of a sudden these strangers-to-me are inner circle tweet-talking and I feel like I’m listening in where I wasn’t invited. Nor should I have been…they. don’t. know. me.

I adore Facebook. With Facebook I can have conversations with people I actually know – or with people who know people I know. Yes, the rants are there. Yes, the self love is there. But because I know the character behind these posts, it’s easy for me to either blow them off or hide them for a spell if I become too irritated. 

Twitter, I used to be excited when people followed me. I thought they wanted to share 140 characters about similar topics. I quickly learned this wasn’t true all of the time. Sometimes the follow is genuine. Sometimes it’s because the follower wants me to follow him for, you guessed it, self-promotion. It just seems slimy in an icky, sales”y” kind of way.

I know. All this talk about stranger tweeting and I have a blog page on Facebook for everyone in the world to “Like”. Crazy, huh? Only I truly believe those on the blog page want to be part of a community where we share ideas and learn from one another. 

I have to let you in on a tiny secret, Twitter. I think being with you has been challenging how I view others. Part of this is on me. The tweeters I follow are mostly in the religious sector. Oh, man! You have not seen ranting and arguing and black/white, right/wrong language until you’ve read the back and forth banter of these Jesus followers. It’s a lot to take in.

My 60something-year-old mother asked if I’d help her learn your ways. “Noooooooo!!” I responded a little too loudly. “Mom. It’s too much noise. It’s constantly in your face. Just when you’ve read the few updates you thought you’d check on, there are 80 more coming into your feed. Sometimes, because it’s so quick, you respond without even thinking and it just sounds stupid. Stay away!”

I should tell you, there are times you’ve really been a help to me. I learn things from you, Twitter, even from those who self-promote. I’ve found fascinating lectures and conferences to attend, new books to read, I’ve even made a friend or two. 

You know how therapists always say things that bug you about others are usually the things you don’t like about yourself? It’s true. Writing mentors tell me I need a presence with you. Which means every time I have something to say, I need to let you know. And not just once, or twice; sometimes a trillion. I feel like a little girl trying to get anyone to notice her. “Lookatme! Lookatme! Lookit, lookit, lookit, lookatme!!”

So, Twitter, this is why sometimes it seems I love you and I pay a ton of attention to you, while other times I completely ignore you. I really do blame the lack of understanding on my age. I bet most of your users weren’t even born when “Video Killed the Radio Star” appeared on our new, cable music television. Over 40, I know I’m a social media dinosaur. 

Thanks for listening, Twitter. I feel better getting this off my chest. You’re a great catch for those who love you. I just feel myself pulled in a different direction. 
Really – it’s not you. It’s me.


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