Twitter Encounters — Part 2

March 5, 2011

Yesterday, I was talking about Twitter having a positive effect on me. I did acknowledge one pitfall, and other than that, it’s been very positive and productive. But it’s imperative to reiterate 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.

Blue Ostrich

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 to know, 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 being in communion with others, 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.

Second, the stacatto nature of Twitter makes it conducive to generating someone’s unvarnished thoughts. Someone 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, but this interviewer thinks it’s often a great response. 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


  1. I’m only on Twitter so I don’t miss out on the juicy tidbits of information (RA related) that get discussed there. I don’t really have anything to add to the conversation, so I guess I won’t be there long… I do think it is a good exercise to be concise in a message and I enjoy pithiness, but I am more inspired by longer, thoughtfully written posts like yours here than a tweet, however provoking it may be. Once conversations get too long, I move on, because somebody else has usually said what I wanted to anyway.
    As for Charlie Sheen, I just heard about that the other day at work. I’m not remotely interested in his private life, but I do enjoy his television work.
    Speaking of pithy — This person’s tweets appeared on my Twitter feed apparently from Tweetsmarter. She is the funniest tweeter I’ve seen yet! Check out her page:!/shariv67

  2. I confess I actually have several followers on Twitter and have never Tweeted, which is pretty funny to me (our boss required us to do this, the same reason I ended up on facebook).

    I am not saying I won’t ever participate; I just haven’t reached the point where I feel an urgent need to get involved. As as I only got involved in forums and blogs and such due to RA, I suspect he’d be the only reason I chose to get into Twitter.

  3. @Phylly, LOL!! She’s now on my “smartass” list. And I may put you there too. :D Just read the other post comment. ROFLOL!!!

    And you don’t even come close to being someone who does not engage. So I think you’re going to be around for a bit. :D Of course a bit may be two weeks or two years, but the point is that you have acted on tweets you’ve read. No one who is reading them can keep from doing this. That’s my point. Oh, they may not do it the first several they read, but if they’re reading consistently, they will have to say something — if only to retweet. LOL!

    @Angie, you have a good egg color. ;-) If you put up that picture in your hat, there’s no telling how many followers you could get. :D

    Seriously, there are a wave of people who have been required to be on social media as a marketing tool. Will be interesting to see how all of that turns out ’cause if there is no socializin’ going on, it’s a bit wasted.

  4. Frenz,

    I have to disagree with your premise that one is on Twitter because one want to be heard (or known). I have nothing to say to a wide audience of people I don’t really know at all. I went on Twitter to see what it was all about and because it is a good way to get news instantaneously. I freely admit that I love observing the role-playing (RP) and alt behaviors and I find some of the “skits” absolutely hysterical.

    I do find it distressing when there are “bad” things that happen because it is difficult to know if it is real-life ( RL) or RP and it bothers me that I don;t know how to help or comfort (a serious flaw of mine).

    I have often wondered if Mr. Armitage is on Twitter. I know he Skypes. I wish SOMEONE from his “team” would have let us know that he was ok after the earthquakes in NZ..seriously.

    And I just created a Tumblr account the other day because I want to know what that is about. This should be interesting. Want to know the name? I called it “I heart Richard Armitage”….more to come…

  5. Again, I’m not opposed to Twitter in principle, just not interested in it myself. Eventually, I suppose, I’ll get an account, especially if it becomes relevant or necessary for my new career. No question that Twitter is revealing — of something, anyway. As you said regarding the ETT tweet about Mr. Armitage’s participation in “The Rover,” it’s also manipulative (like every medium). The question for me at the moment remains information stream. I now average 300 emails per day for work, and something like 40 for blogging and / or personal stuff. I don’t need any more information. I need less :)

  6. @Servetus, I hope no one else thinks I’m trying to talk anyone into using Twitter. Far form it. And it’s certainly manipulative. LOL! But not always an intentional manipulation.

    @Ann Marie, Perhaps I need to define a term. By known, I don’t mean “well known.” I simply mean the exchange between people where they come to know something about each other.

    I know what you mean about discerning what crisis may be going on and wanting to help.

    I hate to do this, but I’m on my way out the door. My daughter is actually honking the horn, so I’ll be back later

  7. Twitter is a social network I suddenly feel I couldn’t live without. Facebook can die any day but Twitter must remain!

  8. I think that is part of my problem, Servetus–I feel almost overwhelmed with info at times between my Google work mail and my personal email, NTM voice mail, faxes, snail mail and pieces of notebook paper dropped off with bulletins for the paper I can barely read scrawled across them . . .
    just so much STUFF.

    @Ann Marie,
    I’ve wanted to hear more about how the fellows were doing down there, too, feeling as anxious as a mama bird worried about her fledglings. LOL

    I have used instant messaging to communicate with some of my RA friends around the world in the past, including using Skype to talk with them, which is great fun (but a little hard logistically due to time differences). I have enjoyed getting to know the people as well as discussing our RA mania. :)

    As for Charlie Sheen, the man needs help. But he’s got to realize and accept that fact before any real improvement can take place, IMHO. I don’t enjoy seeing a talented and once-promising person desintegrate (reminds me a little to much of what happened to poor Lucas on Spooks, frankly . . .) and I am concerned for his children and family.


    I confess I have fun posting some of my webcam shots on facebook to make my friends smile and invariably get some comments of the positive variety. :D A bit of light-heartedness that I hope brings a smile.

  9. Re Twitter,
    Was browsing through the latest copy of Rolling Stone with an article about up-and-coming rapper Wiz Khalifa whose Kush and Orange Juice mixtape became a viral hit due to “agressive social marketing” with Wiz saying “Twitter helpd out a whole bunch.”

    Proving one of your points, I believe, Frenz. ;)

  10. I’ll have to watch what I reveal about myself on Twitter now :) :)

    Though just because you tweet, doesn’t mean others are reading!

    I agree with you that RA is a “talker”, and bless him for being an intelligent talker at that. I also suspect that he’s someone who likes to be informed of what’s going on in the world and someone who likes to be part of the world around him, so I wouldn’t find it surprising he’s on Twitter, but actively engaging only with those he trusts. (I’m sure they’re all being kept informed about Twitter world by fellow dwarf and Twitterer Rob Kazinsky.)

    I agree with you that it’s much more difficult to engage in Twitter for business use rather than for personal use, much more than doing so on Facebook. We’ve just started using social media at work, and we’re all finding it difficult to figure out how to use it successfully, but I know those who say they do.

    As for personally, I also agree that part of the attraction is being heard, or sharing your brief thoughts, likes, dislikes, etc. with like minded twitterer s and also to promote or subject others to, things we are interested in. But I’m a novice on Twitter and still learning how to use it, I was reluctant at first, the first year I made a grand total of 6 tweets, but now it’s gone way beyond that and I’m enjoying the experience, more than Facebook. It can be a bit addictive.

  11. @Angie, Twitter is definitely a marketing tool, but a lot of marketers haven’t learned how to leverage it yet. But hey, Charlie Sheen knows. :D

    @Ann Marie, Can’t wait to see the tumblr.

    @Musa, Yep, just because someone tweets doesn’t mean it’s being read. That’s why it has to get personal, and really, that’s part of the fun. For a celebrity it’s obviously a different situation. But most on Twitter are not celebrities, and even the celebrities realize they should be in a conversation at times and appear to enjoy that. If the conversation is only one way, it’s often a turn off.

  12. Kada, What is it you like so much about Twitter over FB?

  13. I initially (reluctantly) went on twitter to promote the spooks fan blog. I was surprised to find how effective it was. Now I’m looking at ways to incorporate it into my business. I’m a convert!

  14. Oh yeah! I actually use one of my ids to promote a business I have, and I have another id that’s in partnership with someone else to promote yet another business. It’s working great. In fact, I may get the guts to come out of the closet and let some of you in on one of the ids, because it is so much fun. But I’m still too chicken. It would out me but good, and I’m not ready for that. But have to say that I’m having a blast. I never knew I could get paid for pure bullshit. LOL! However, that bull took about a year to put together (picture me with my tongue really hanging out). Maybe I should be more circumspect and call it a marketing campaign, but it’s bullshit and people who read it don’t feel like it’s marketing.

  15. Frenz: You sure fooled me! Doesn’t sound like marketing at all! Frenz you didn’t mention the other HUGE difference is it’s platform and though I can access Facebook (do still like it) from a mobile app twitter’s mobile application is by far the best. Twitter on a browser behind a PC doesn’t do it for me. Put on a mobile with push-through notifications it’s my favorite mode of communication! LOL
    I’m on a mission to get more RL people on, I would have had my dad on already if I was nearer him to show how to work it on his iPod!! Yep I got a HIP dad at 85 he’s still cool!
    Annie: still remember mentioning Gisborne was on twitter awhile back; U caught on fast! (note: U is twitter lingo for you) i still have to shorten my tweets, adapt & use symbols. The real pro’s say the most by less!

    I think twitter turns the world into a village where you can have an ongoing coffee klatch!

    It can be whatever you want it to be, sometimes it’s about information, sometimes it’s about chatting about the weather & it can be about having real conversations. And for sure a lot of those happen out of the public eye too.

    But unless you’ve tried it from a mobile device with the right app that you like you haven’t enjoyed the real twitter fun! IMO :)

  16. @Iz,

    Regarding the marketing, that has nothing to do with RAFrenzy. Just sayin’. :)

    You have really learned to shorten your tweets. Do you ever go to twitlonger anymore? I never see it. That would be cool if you could communicate with your dad. And yes, AnnMarie is quick! :D Her interaction with the role playing characters cracks me up.


    Mobile is a huge part of this. If some site is not accessible via mobile, people have cut their ability to reach others probably close to half. More in some cases and much, much higher if we’re talking about 20 somethings. My two oldest children both have smart phones, which they bought themselves mind you LOL! (I wasn’t about to pay for them), and now my son is about to buy one. It’s stunning to me what they do on these things. Yes, I have one too, but my oldest had one years before me. My only stipulation to her when she first bought it was if her grades suffered, Momma was taking the phone. Thankfully, that never happened.

    Wonder if Kada uses a smartphone.

    There’s no question Twitter can become a coffee klatch, which is fun at times, but Twitter can be so much more. I wish more people were aware of that. I wanted to have a discussion about dyslexia or reading issues before, but I was fairly new to Twitter and wasn’t really sure how to go about it. I may still do this, and what little I have looked at on Twitter has helped my son enormously. I also appreciate everyone here who is an educator and sent me some words of wisdom. Very helpful for someone who homeschooled! Thank you again!

    One thing I don’t like about Twitter is when I use my “real” id on Twitter. Anyone who knows me can observe almost every conversation I’m having. No to that. Not because I want to hide but does anyone want all of their conversations eavesdropped? I’m not saying this is always a bad thing to be eavesdropped. In fact, that’s implied on Twitter (unless someone protects their tweets, which I don’t want to do). I should mention that being public has also been productive for me and even in my little town. I’ve had people around here come up to me and ask about something I was posting on Twitter. I about fell over in a faint and after catching myself I wondered why they didn’t just ask me on Twitter. But then of course not everything can be discussed on Twitter. I hope it’s clear that I don’t think Twitter is the appropriate medium for all or most communications. If I thought that, would I be here?

  17. Frenz, If you protect your tweets I don’t think everyone can read every conversation. I think then only the conversations they were in with you. Try it and then we can test it if you want. My tweets are protected- can you see every conversation I have?

  18. @AnnMarie,
    Yep, protected tweets can make conversations private, or more private since they’re limited to the people you’ve given permission to follow you. Not sure if I can see every conversation of yours because I haven’t looked, but I should be able to see the ones you have with people who do not have protected tweets, and/or the ones who have protected tweets who have also given me permission to look at them. However, all of this is moot for me as I’m not wanting to see everyone’s every conversation and have never wanted to protect RAFrenzy’s tweets. By saying that I am not saying there is anything wrong with protected tweets. Not at all. It’s a strictly personal choice.

    BTW, did my term definition make sense? You know how I hate being misunderstood. LOL!

  19. In reading all of these comments, it occurs to me that perhaps one reason I fail to see the charms is that I’m a cell phone hater. I only got my first US cell phone about a year ago when my mother fell ill. It’s not a smart phone. I have given hardly anyone the number. I resent everything about it: owning it, the expense it causes, the new feeling of never being completely alone — and the way that other people’s cell phone usage affects their public interactions. I know that sounds harsh. Perhaps if I liked my cell, I would like Twitter, too.

  20. Oh, man, Servetus, you just hit it for me. I really and truly hate cellphones. Yes, I have one. I just had to upgrade due to a merger involving my cell phone carrier and now have a QWERTY keyboard so I could in theory finally text. But I don’t want to. I really only have it in case I get stuck in some godforsaken part of the county and need assistance. It’s not to chat on.

    My oldest sister seems attached at the hip to her cellphone and I don’t want to be that way. My young co-worker forgets and leaves his phone at home and it’s like he left his arm there. not for me.

    I resent cell phones going off left and right in my office on top of the business phones. I resent people carrying on conversations in public that make me feel as if I am intruding, but it’s in PUBLIC so why do I feel out of place?? Maybe I am just hopelessly old fashioned. Sorry, Frenz, don’t think I am ready to convert yet.

  21. I completely agree about people being distracted by their phones while with others. It’s rude. But this idea of never leaving home without it is what’s happening with so many young people, and I’m beginning to understand it. I too resisted a smartphone, but it’s made my life easier. I’m not thinking about social aspects of it but the practical. It’s been a marvelous tool for me, and I LOVE texting, but I don’t do it as a social passtime. Or I should say that I rarely do it socially. I text for information, i.e., sending a note to one of my kids that might say, “where are you?! Need to let me know now.” This is so much better than trying to call. Texting can be done with a very weak signal, so they have almost no excuse for not returning a text. Here’s another one, “On your way home, pick up…..” I LOVE being able to do this. As far as tweeting, I seldom do it from my phone. When I’m out and about, I’m usually not socializing on the net. It just doesn’t work that way for me, but I’m not down on it working that way for others. My “socializing” is done at times like now when I’m at home and the family is off doing something else. I sit down at my desk and type a few lines here or there in between doing other things — usually mundane. For instance, when I get done typing this comment, I will be hopping downstairs to put a load of laundry in the dryer and hang up some delicates to dry — ain’t life grand. :D After I’m done with that, I might go to bed early tonight, which means I will get into bed an hour or two before I turn out the lights. This is so I can read. I may not say another word on the net tonight. Just depends.

    BTW, I want to reiterate that I’m not trying to convert anyone to Twitter or smarthpones. I’m just sharing what’s happening with me. Obviously, I think Twitter is a powerful tool, and I’ve benefited from it, but I certainly don’t think everyone needs to jump on Twitter. Not at all.

    Oh, and you two would love SO. He HATES cell phones. He got rid of his recently and is not getting another one. But then hey, he can just have people call mine. LOL!

  22. I sort of foresee what happened with the basic cell also happening with the smartphone: that it and the accompanying data package from the service provider become not luxuries but necessities. But I’ll probably resist that as long as I can :)

    I observe my students using smartphones and know that they find them hugely convenient. :)

  23. I think for parents cell phones have become their best way to keep in touch with their children in the midst of busy modern schedules. I see that with my co-workers.
    Of course, I don’t have children (and the cats and dogs don’t have opposable thumbs), but yes, it is handy for me to touch base with Benny when I am in, say, Wally World and he’s at home and he might need me to pick up something for him. We live so far out of town and with gas soaring upwards, there is no such thing as a quick or cheap trip back to the store . . .
    And the day my tire literally shredded on the Jeep on the way into town and I had to call for assistance–had to walk a little ways to get a signal of course, as there is a dead zone between the boonies and town–I was really glad I had the thing. And I have to admit seeing all the cool things their smart phones can do is impressive. And the photos taken with the iPhone are really very good quality compared to any other camera phone I have seen. But I am just not quite ready to take the leap . . . ;)

  24. I’m a total iPhone addict, and I rely on using it to access the Internet most of the time. I’m writing this on it and I agree that Twitter is much better from a smartphone than from a PC. I rarely use a work computer or my work laptop to access anything non-work related (and if I do, it’s never for social networking). I spend a lot of time commuting so a smartphone is handy then.

  25. @ Frenz,

    Yes, your definition made sense, but then I’ve lost track of the original question! LOL!

  26. […] (the names of his parents and of his nephew, perhaps, or the neighborhood where he lives) — it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Armitage is actually rather willing to be talkative for whatever reason. He probably has the standard number of things to hide, as we all do, but […]

  27. […] by hitting the ‘twitter’ tag or you can go to the pieces of any great note here and here and maybe […]

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