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. 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, 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

Twitter, the Pithy Maker

March 4, 2011

It’s amazing what Richard Armitage has prompted me to do. Well, he and some others.

I’ve been neglecting my blog lately but not really. Been doing something that will just make this blog better (picture me with a type of grin that even I’m not crude earthy enough to describe here). Of course I’ve been hanging out on Twitter, which harvested all sorts of guilt from me when I first started. But I think I’m almost over that; however, not quite or this post probably wouldn’t exist (yes, I have a sentence with but and however). What’s great is that I can rationalize anything if I want — can’t we all?

Seriously, the limitation of 140 characters on Twitter is helping me cut out the fat, and with someone like me who too often feels compelled to explain every cussed move I’m making, this is a good thing. You don’t want to read all of that, and I don’t either, and on Twitter, you can’t. Well, you can with Twitlonger and some other services. I just feel like I’ve failed when I have to go to Twitlonger, and really I feel my eyes start to shutter when I begin to read explanations that go on and on and well, aren’t funny and surely aren’t uh, pithy. But the best part of this pithy machine, aka Twitter, is that I now have a great explanation for SO (whose middle name is Pith) as to why I like to spend time there. Thankfully, he has noticed it in my writing, and now I can say, “See, see, this is a good thing.”

Recently though I will admit I’ve been like all the other dreaded onlookers on Twitter who are observing the destruction of Charlie Sheen. The guy set a Guiness Record for the quickest amassing of one million plus followers, and I know his secret. It’s not that he’s a famous wreck; there have been other famous wrecks on Twitter who didn’t get his kind of attention. It’s that on his way to hell, he’s pithy, and that naturally makes for a sensation on Twitter. Very sad but true. Not being funny here. More about Charlie later in another tangent. Yes, I get on a roll with these things, and it’s hard to stop. Anyone who has enough opinions for at least four people cannot help but get on tangents, and really, I would explode if I didn’t, so it’s a good thing. :D Need to slap myself for explaining that, but hey, I’m trying to fill out this paragraph so it’s more than a few sentences. If I wrote better, then I could write only three sentences, and you would be so wowed you wouldn’t care that it’s a short paragraph. See why I need to cut out the fat?

Where was I?

Yeah, Twitter is great for making me think about what I’m actually communicating, and I’ve had to take some risks in running something out there even if it wasn’t quite clear to the recipient. But I have a caution on that, which most thinking people will already know, but hey, I’m a thinking person, and I got carried away on Twitter, and you can too. So take note. I’m going to blame the cold medicine for my mistake, but really, if I’m honest, I had a shabby moment. So here’s the caution: if you’re going to be pithy and say something really sarcastic (key word is really), do it with someone who already knows you and gets your humor. I made the mistake of doing it with someone who didn’t know squat about me, and I got blocked. Yes, I was blocked by someone. I didn’t know it until a couple of weeks later, but man, it stung, and the worst part of it is that the person probably thought I was serious. Sadly, when you’re blocked, you can’t contact the person. I even thought about contacting them through another id to apologize, but that smacks too much of stalking. So I didn’t. I’m now chalking this up as a pitfall of getting up to speed on Twitter. See how easy it is to rationalize?

And now that Twitter almost has me at fighting weight on the pith, I may run a few laps to get ready for the big leagues on Tumblr.

Dropping some of the mask:

I can hear the wheels turning in the heads of some of you who are probably around my age. You have this notion that Twitter lowers your ability to be articulate because it just appears to be a lot of gibberish. I’m sure it can facilitate some gibberish. Ohmygosh, can it facilitate gibberish! But I don’t believe it does arbitrarily. It’s just a tool and up to each of us how we may use it. I’m choosing to experiment with it, and no, it’s not all as RAFrenzy. And you may ask why am I really messing about on Twitter? To make this the greatest blog since napkins were created? Or to simply deal with idle time? Maybe to be cute? LOL! I do think it will help this blog, but honestly, I have very little idle time and lost all hope of being cute years ago. Not being funny again. I have almost no idle time in my life, and I don’t want any. What I’m doing is learning the language of the future. Scratch that. It’s not the language of the future; it’s already here. It is the language my kids understand, and I want to understand it as well. Oh, I make them speak my language too, but it’s only fair that I learn how their generation communicates. That is enough to compel me to get in the flow of this.

edit: I guess WordPress hiccuped on me. This above is now my final post, but what posted before was not. Arrgh! That kind of stuff drives me nuts.