March 5, 2011
Yesterday, I was talking about Twitter having a positive effect on me. I did acknowledge one pitfall, and other than that one negative, it’s been positive and productive. But it’s imperative to reiterate that Twitter is what you make it which means it matters who you are when you get there. And who are you? What are you about? Chances are good Twitter will reveal who you are whether you want it to or not. I’m not talking about your name or title. I’m talking about how you think and why. If someone talks long enough on Twitter, and it doesn’t take very much talking, they will reveal where they’re coming from. Even the alter egos cannot completely squelch their real selves.
Two things dictate Twitter’s keen ability to reveal someone. First, being on Twitter means a person wants to be heard. There is no other reason to be there (that’s true of any online presence, i.e., blogs, forums, etc. or almost any conversation whether online or not). Let me say that again. There is no other reason to be on Twitter than a desire to be heard, and more accurately, a desire to be known, and I don’t mean everything about someone but at least some aspect. Before anyone starts objecting, please realize I’m not saying this is a bad thing. It’s hardwired into us to desire being known, and it’s not so much in the sense of celebrity that we want to be known but in the sense of gaining affirmation, gaining a sense of worth, which can only happen in relationships — online or otherwise. Why do you think social media is so popular? It’s appealing to the basic instincts of everyone. Certainly, there is not a one size fits all medium. Twitter is not for everyone. Some who find it too rapid or think of it as only shallow, will settle for something that allows them more time to flesh out their thoughts. Whatever the case, the impetus is the same — the need to be known and to know. If someone is on Twitter for any other reason, they won’t remain long because they will have no productive relationships. I’m thinking mostly of businesses here. All social media is personal, so a business entity will not thrive there if they don’t get personal at some point.
Second, the stacatto nature of Twitter makes it conducive to generating someone’s unvarnished thoughts. Servetus said yesterday that Twitter invites the knee jerk. Yes, in many respects it does even if someone only retweets another’s thought. But doesn’t a knee jerk, i.e., a visceral reaction, usually reveal a lot about a person? It’s my experience that it does. In fact, it can oftentimes say a lot more about someone than seemingly thoughtful answers they may craft. Isn’t that why job interviewers throw job candidates curve balls? Aren’t they looking for the person’s involuntary reaction in order to take an accounting of them beyond the image they’ve created? As a long time interviewer of potential employees (mostly white collar but some blue), I can tell you yes, that’s what they’re looking for, and sometimes an honest response of, “I don’t know” or “I need to think more about that to answer” is completely acceptable. Depends on the question and of course, on the interviewer. This is also acceptable on Twitter and can lead to some interesting discussion, and frankly, I’m suspicious of people who seem to have the answers to every question. No one’s that good, but that discussion is for another post.
I have much more to say about Twitter, but I suspect this post will go on so long that it will have trouble loading. So I’m saving most of it for later. But I do want to say that I find it infinitely fascinating that Richard Armitage has not been on Twitter, and I mean on Twitter as himself since he may very well be on Twitter. If my gut is still functioning properly (although it had a glitch awhile back LOL!), I suspect he is there anonymously. The man for all of his supposed reticence is a talker. I know there are those of you who will have a violent disagreement with me about this, but you’re mostly reacting to my choice of the word “talker.” That’s not an aspersion on him at all. When I say that I’m not saying he’s indiscreet. Certainly, he doesn’t talk about some of the things that some would like him to, but those who have any brains are not going to tell everything they know or even come close to doing so. First, it’s boring and second, it’s like dropping your pants and bending over. Wait. That’s a bad analogy. LOL!!! Uh, let me try that again but without analogy. Who wants all of their personal business known? No one I know of unless they’re dense and/or temporarily rendered dense by being desperate, e.g., Charlie Sheen. More about Charlie later. Maybe. That post is quite a piece of work. Not sure the public is ready for it.
edit: I found this article interesting. I’m not sure I entirely agree with it, but I agree with the dynamic. Perhaps I don’t fully agree because if someone analyzed my RAFrenzy account on Twitter, they would find I follow both “liberal” and “conservative” accounts, and I can assure you I’m not a moderate. :D