So….after years of wondering what all this Twitter stuff was about I’ve taken the plunge. I am now an official Twitterer (or Tweeter). I like technology and I like social media. But I shy away from stuff when I don’t understand it. (Same reason I was so hesitant to start blogging.)
However, the old saying, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” is totally appropriate here. After just two days on Twitter I’ve come to really appreciate it. While it’s fun to laugh at my friend’s quirky posts, that’s not much different from what I already do with texting. But what is different is the reach that Twitter has.
Five years ago, it would have been nearly impossible for me to get detailed, up to the minute advice for my career from someone in the top of my field. But with Twitter, I just click on the little birdie by Michael Hyatt’s name (Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers) and I have daily advice and encouragement tailored toward exactly what I’m interested in. That’s cool!
I’ve heard people trash the idea of social media. “It’s misused and abused,” is what the critics say. This is said of Twitter, Facebook and other social sites. I’ve heard how people have had affairs with high-school sweethearts that they re-connected with on Facebook. And how it’s egotistical to post what you’re doing on Twitter because what makes you think people care what you’re doing on a daily basis?
I’ve heard all those things and I’m not saying there is no validity there. There is. There have been affairs and people do tweet or post status updates about inane things. But just because some people do those things, doesn’t mean that the tool is at fault. I don’t think Facebook is bad because some people use it to do stupid things. And I don’t think Twitter is egotistical because there are people on there with big egos.
I’m big on personal responsibility. If I feel that Facebook is taking up too much of my time, I’m going to discipline myself to spend less time on it. But I’m not going to say Facebook is a bad thing. I love that I can stay connected with my precious friend Karen who lives in Virginia. Before Facebook, we were lucky if we talked once every couple of years. Between us we’ve had a dozen kids (she totally wins the prize on that as she’s had the lion’s share of those kids) but it made phone conversations difficult. And while we both love to get letters, neither of us are very good about writing them. And even when we would write them…sometimes we’d forget to send them and then by the time we’d found the letter we’d intended to send, another baby had been born and the letter was totally out of date!
So a few years ago I begged her to get on Facebook. I think she was reluctant…but she signed up and we are so much more connected. Since then we’ve visited with each other twice (along with our happy dozen) and it has totally enriched our relationship. I am confident that without Facebook we would still be on an “every other year phone call” schedule. Not because we don’t love or miss each other…just because of the nature of our busy lives. I love Facebook.
And as far as Twitter goes, I look forward to meeting new people and growing friendships. I look forward to learning a ton from people I respect and I look forward to laughing at the funny things my friends say. And if at some point I “follow” someone on Twitter who tweets about what they are having for breakfast, lunch and dinner and what time they go to the bathroom and how sick they feel from eating a whole package of Twinkies, etc., etc., I will not swear off Twitter and cancel my account. I’ll just click “Unfollow.” I have that power.
Thanks for reading!
~rebekah (for those of you on Twitter… @RebekahRuth17 )
Question: Do you think social media has enriched or derailed you?
For more info on Twitter and other Social Media, check out these links that I found thanks to Twitter
Michael Hyatt Blog (with Twitter info), click Here
Jane Friedman Blog about Social Media Lies, click Here