Earlier this autumn I got the chance to meet the lovely Sarah Joy Albrecht and her husband Tom for lunch. Spending time with Sarah was delightful and I wished that I had hours more to pepper her with questions. I would love to sit down with Sarah with a mug of tea and simply listen to her for the afternoon.
It struck me as quite surprising that Sarah Joy should be the first person I met through this blog. After all, I knew her primarily as “that cool woman in Japan” and even though she was back in the United States it still seemed unexpected for us to meet (and for her to be willing to go so far out of her way!).
But after I calmed my ebullient little self down from the excitement of meeting Sarah Joy I realized that it really did make sense. Even though Sarah Joy and I don’t comment on each other’s every post or spend hours chatting blog strategy, we do follow each other on Twitter. And without exception I feel as if I know blog friends on Twitter immensely better than the bloggers who do not use Twitter. It does not matter how many 1000s of words I have read in blogposts or emails, I do not feel the same connection with those behind the blogs that I read as I do with those who share their lives with me in 140 characters or less.
Twitter foes suggest that Twitter is worthless because it is full of egomaniacs who blather on about what they ate for lunch. And Twitter fans often like to counter that Twitter is a great tool for social networking and that it is useful for far more than learning what others ate for lunch. If you are really lucky the Twitter fan will even respond with graphs explaining how Twitter is not a social network and exactly why it is so much smarter than Facebook.
But I am not a social media snob. I will freely admit that I both tweet and read a lot about daily activities. And I will also insist that that is worth far more than you might imagine. If you are a superstar-infallible-expert-snazzy-deliciousness-incarnate in your chosen field then you live in your own world. But for the rest of us, the greatest impact that we will ever have comes from being people in relationship with each other. The more fully human we are, the more significant these relationships.
What you ate for lunch is part of who you are as a person. Did you skip lunch because you were in a hurry or too spacey to remember it? Did you sit down for a 4-course picnic with your children on the living room floor? Did you eat the exact same sandwich at your desk as yesterday and every other workday since the beginning of time? Did you cry over your new gluten-free diet? All of this is a part of who you are, and one of the easiest ways to convey “realness” online. Unless you are a professional Twitter-er (or just have a particularly rare form of concise genius) you cannot be active on Twitter and edit yourself into the non-human existence we call perfection.
So I love Twitter both because it’s concise format is easy, and because the ease leads to wonderfully human interaction with people I would never have the chance to get to know otherwise. I use Twitter because I know that what you ate for lunch is important. Very important.
Are you a Twitter fan? If not, why not? If you are on Twitter and I’m not following you, please let me know.
And if you are interested in getting started on Twitter and have no idea whom to follow I’d be happy to give you some personalized recommendations. Twitter is only boring and useless if you don’t follow the right/enough people. And I can help you get over that problem veeery quickly.
- I am thankful 12/12/2010
- Country Music