Monday, January 24, 2011
Confession Time: My Secret Thoughts about Twitter
1) To follow or to really follow
I initially thought if I followed someone on Twitter, I'd care about what they had to say. I assumed I'd want to pay attention to what every one of them tweeted. But once I started following more than a couple dozen, I was skimming more of my twitter feed but reading less. And then my sister (@skeptiwife) introduced me to Tweetdeck and the ability to have lists. My lists are like the "in crowd" of those I follow on Twitter. And if I put you on a list, then I really do care what you have to say. If you're not on a list, then I was just being polite by following you or I had to remove you from a list because your tweets started bugging me (but I didn't want to unfollow you since you had followed me back). And I don't think I'm the only one who uses this subtle culling process. Do you think @twitterismylife4ever, someone who may have tens of thousands of followers pays attention to the tweets of ALL the folks she follows? I could be wrong but I just can't imagine that's even possible. So I reckon, it's all about the lists. So when someone follows me, I secretly think, "Yeah big deal, but did you put me on one of your lists?"
2) Agony of being myself (or trying to)
The folks I love following (and are definitely on my coveted lists) are those that just put it out there. They say what they mean, they mean what they say and they say it exactly how they want to. I have a lot of respect for the likes of @loripop326; you can get a real sense of who she may be from her tweets. No holds barred. But not me. I agonize over my tweets at times. I get myself stuck with "Will anyone think this is funny? Could a potential employer take offense to this? I wonder if I might get an RT or a mention?" Oh how I want to be liked, can you say "neurotic"? I think my Twitter handle would be better as @whatNeedyValWants. I admit I want validation and at times hope Twitter will bring that to me, though I know this is doing it the wrong way around. Brief moments where I tweet without expectation are joyous ones and I hope to get better at being myself, whether or not there's any feedback. Side-note: I can always count on @kaytans and @XS143 for support and feedback but they have to, they're my mom and best mate, respectively.
3) For someone with low self esteem, isn't Facebook a better option?
Having established I'm needy and want validation, I have to admit something that I just don't feel is politically correct to say in the Twitter-verse...Facebook is much more comfortable for me. After all, these are folks you already know (unless you're one of those silly sods who adds anyone and everyone as friends as if their friend count is a contest) and therefore there's an unwritten agreement then that we will support one another in FB world. "Likes", comments and tagging are ways that you can give and receive a lot of feedback. And as I apparently live for feedback, I find Facebook a more comfortable place. Side-note: the best of both worlds is when you can friend folks in both places like @MDuette - I enjoy her tweets and our exchanges on FB.
4) Sorry, what was that? I was miles away...
I dig Twitter for the same reason I prefer texting to phone calls. I can give you attention in short bursts without you wanting a lot more for me. Tweeting under 140 characters, RT's and "mentions" are easy ways to give but still be able to stay pretty self-absorbed. And that works for me. I guess I'm into machine-gun style interaction: short, fast and repeated bursts work for me. It's not that you're boring, it's that I have a short attention span. It's not you, it's me. Side-note: if you post a photo, for any reason, I will look at it, I'm always curious. Just sayin'.
5. I feel like I really know Simon Pegg (@simonpegg)
If you looked at my internet browsing history, you'll see a repetition of visits to celebrity and gossip sites including: tmz, perezhilton, genosworld (aka @genosworld), people.com etc. And that's because I love that kinda stuff. So to be able to follow celebrities is so fun! They post photos, tweet each other (it's like being a voyeur to their chats) and what's more, it's like they're talking to me, to us (is that too Kathy Bates, a "number one fan" type thing?) I'd say I spend more time looking through the twitter feed of my "entertainment" list, than the others. I follow a lot of comediennes too so get to laugh regularly. I steadfastly and stubbornly refuse to believe it's not the actual celebrities tweeting, I mean, it really IS @kathygriffin tweeting and not Tiffany her assistant, right? Side-note: having a celebrity respond to one of your tweets is so satisfying (even though it is rather a ridiculous way of feeling validated but as we've seen, I depend on others for exactly that). So far the only "celebrity" to do that was @EWDaltonRoss (you're welcome Dalton) when he responded to this post. It made my day (and of course I posted it on FB so my friends could share in my delight:
So there you have it. Having spilled my inner thoughts and feelings about Twitter has left me free from the bondage of the secrets. What about you, do you have anything you want to confess about Twitter?