7/22/2014

Tweet Tweet

Man, I remember hitting a certain age, I can’t say it, you can’t make me but let’s leave it at its a big 0-ne.  I felt okay about accepting it but wondered how younger people would look at me. Would they hear my age and act like my kids, “Damn you are old!” Or maybe the reaction would be more subtle; perhaps folks would just make a big circle around me when they saw me coming and think to themselves here comes the lady a month away from needing a walker! I do experience, even now, from time to time, someone will find it out and all the sudden, communication is short and sweet, “nice meeting you, have a nice life!”   And that is actually cool with me.  I am not concerned in the least with winning a popularity award.  Heck, I try to be different, not conform!  And Twitter is one of the best vehicles for putting age aside. 

Messing around on Facebook for several years and just being an outgoing personality type, I have observed some things.  Different age groups talk differently. Every few years, the buzz words change, and they change for different demographics, and for different generations.  It is all very confusing, I find, when you enjoy having relationships with a diverse crowd.  This is something I have always prided myself on, from when I was a child. I had a friend that was a disabled child with mental facilities impaired that went to our church. Other kids laughed at her as if she wasn’t there and couldn’t notice. I played with her and found it an honor to work with her. She was so sweet and appreciative of everything, unlike most people in my world.

There was a senior citizen lady who lived next to my grandparents also.  She was someone I could relate to, funny as it sounds and become a good friend to me, like a surrogate grandma too. I went to see her every time we visited them. She always seemed to be waiting for someone to visit her who never showed up. But I always came, unannounced, to her delight. And I was so excited to see her and would sit on her bed and listen for hours to her endless stories of her childhood.   She always said she thought she was boring me but my eyes told a different story and she knew it.  Louise, I loved that lady and she was the gift not I.

Talking to different people requires adjusting your language skills abit to match theirs for ease in understanding.  On Facebook, everyone stays well within in their comfort zone. Connecting with friends and family, neighbors and co-workers keeps life perfectly even keel, on track and no need to adjust our way of thinking too much.  If we don’t like something someone says, we can just defriend them, good-bye, so long!  Just pick up someone else in their place if you don’t think your friend list is long enough.  Heck, you can even find a new friend that has perspectives that match yours so you have the commonality.

Twitter is different however.   There is no real choosing what is coming through the steam.  I can see the injustices, but also the everyday heros, the hypocrites, and the news stories that are touching off hot buttons in others.  I read the words of the self-righteous, the philosophers, the researchers, the comedians and everyone in between.  So many of the people on Twitter are not folks we live by, have coffee or a drink with or have our lives entwined with other than the world of Twitter.  We may be thousands of miles apart, on a different time zone, an age gap apart, and completely separate on our views on many things but for the split second in time we communicate on Twitter, we are bonded, in that moment.  And that is sweet!  Technology at its best.  You can walk away or not respond if you don’t like it. 

Even with my age, even with the demographics being different, as it is, Twitter allows us to stand as we are, individuals, with no pretense, for many with no hidden agenda either, and captivate others with our honesty. Sure there are those that are all about promoting themselves, their business, and their ideology. We all know who they are, just read their read tweets a few days in row. They aren’t fooling anyone.  But Twitter is useful for that as well and does serve a purpose for reaching out to that crowd as well. Again, free choice, free will. Read what you want, follow who you will.

I find so much of the  sharing on Twitter is not as much about the mundane inconsequential in life as “ I just got back from the store and the traffic was hellious” or”Just cut my grass, it needed it so badly!”  It is more about things that are food for thought, things that inspire, things that alter our opinions or belief system, new information in different fields of interest and perhaps in areas we might otherwise know nothing about. It is also a chance to comment and communicate with individuals we do not have access to, be it politicians, celebrities, sports heroes, legends, idols, favorite authors, etc…

It is amazing the amount of information you can learn from Twitter! One day I wrote down each piece of new information I gained and shared it with a few friends.  They were astounded. I had not forewarned them where I had done my research. Not one of them is on Twitter, nor are they now. Some folks don’t care about that type of learning and that’s okay too. I have a continual thirst for knowledge, for others views, I enjoy the challenge of my thinking being debated by opening myself up to others opinions. I need to hear more about the world than my small piece of it. The news doesn’t tell it all, it is too jaded.

The sources for the best growth opportunities are not always where you think.  It can be something profound coming from a young adult.  Yes, they say the most inspiring statement, from the mouth of babes I suppose is so cliché yet so true. I make a point of staying connected to people younger than me always!  There are some individuals that simply delight in sharing new medical breakthroughs in areas like cancer research, that those of us, as cancer survivors, have no idea how to weed out fact from fiction. These folks are priceless on my following list.  The celebrities list is just plain fun, especially the ones that take the time to occasionally respond to their fans.  It makes everyone feel they are real and humble and grateful to their fans.  Too many simple have their site manned by a PR machine that just pumps out show dates and ticket information.  Anyone can get that from a website or venue location. Again, those in the spotlight that show that they put on their pants like the rest of us and share the normality of their lives by commenting on the news, tweets sent to them occasionally or things going on in their life, kudos.   

Too much hot debate is occurring on social media these days.  What a waste of energy.  We don’t need what goes on in the world scene to play out in the few areas in life where we get some of our mojo.  Let’s leave the fighting and debate where it belongs and draw a line somewhere so that we can just have a safe zone.  Twitter seems to fulfill that mission.  If all someone wants to do is bitch on Twitter, in general, not too many folks are going to listen.  Or respond.   Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have been attacked for my viewpoint on Twitter. Early on I made a comment that led to a string of what I considered hate tweets.  But it was something said with good intentions and with Twitter, you just have to apologize someone was offended and let it go. And it is history. And no, I was not ‘defriended.’ Infact, I still follow the person. Why wouldn’t I, I still value her opinions.

My followers and following list on Twitter, to date, consists of people of all ages. I am inspired by each of them for a wide range of reasons.  Some of them are just plain interesting. Many on my list, their perspectives, their ideas, and their posts amuse me, delight me, humor me, or force me to look at the world through their eyes.  I can only hope to do the same to them.  I am certain they, like I, are incapable of reading all tweets.   There is never enough time in the day and too many messages coming through.  Plus, if someone starts following me or comments on my tweet that is new to me, I want to review their profile to see if it is of interest and if we should possibly be connected.

Twitter is that simple, KISS principle is in full focus here since your character count is limited.  You have to love that. Long-winded folks can’t go into a soap opera. Say what you want to say, and then move on.  It forces everyone to be direct.  If you want to read more, put a link on to the article, blog or whatever.  Otherwise, be done with it!

On Facebook, I see most circles are people close in age. On Twitter, I see completely the opposite.  On FB I see demographics are the same. Again, on Twitter I see the opposite. I love that about Twitter also as it is replicative of my love of diversity and my ability to adapt to others. For me, I have always been known to have friends that cross all lines of race, gender, sex stereo-types, religious beliefs, backgrounds, etc. I have always believed being open-minded and have friends that are different makes me more worldly, not just a college education. You need an education on life!  How can you get it if you stick with just replicas of yourself?  I suppose too I think I am different, truth be known!  And I don’t believe anyone is quite as they seem. We all have a story behind our eyes.  I enjoy trying to find it.

I am grateful for all the followers I have on Twitter, from the youngest to the oldest. I respect and love the fact the folks I follow seem to be real, consistently representing their views and attitudes. But again, this is the internet so we can hide behind a façade so one never knows but that is true in face to face relationships too.

I would hope, at times, we are influencing each other’s opinions, and from time to time, changing other’s perspectives, moods, and attitudes.  But what is the most important is that we are just plain listening.  Too many people are caught up not actively listening. Tweeting a response of any size says, I heard you.  In a sense, you’re conveying to the sender that their message had value, it did not fall on deaf ears. 

It is great to retort to others tweets but also notable that it seems to be done with respect.  Wow, could so many in the public eye learn from this protocol or what?  I also love the fact that so often folks share divine messages that seem to come straight from a higher power, in my life that is defined as God. And so many comment on how touched and relevant these messages are. What a catalyst for change so many folks are on this media every day. There is really no way to calculate how many lives are affected by your one little Tweet. Something as little as “You are loved” could impact an entire workplace, a community, a city, etc…. showing your Tweet makes a difference.  So I guess in closing I say, keep up with the Tweet Tweet!




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