Picture credit: Eliya
Ann Hawkins (She's on Twitter too ya know!)
Iím annoyed if you arenít on Twitter.
And Iím annoyed that if you are on Twitter you hide behind a company name or a company logo.
And Iím annoyed if you auto tweet, especially Direct Messages.
Because human beings need human interaction (it's third on Maslowís list after basic survival and safety).
Some of us are happy just to connect with people we already know but thatís a bit like living in a small village before the bicycle was invented Ė safe and predictable but also stifling and with little room to explore new ideas.
Some of us only want to get to know people weíre introduced to but thatís a bit like saying because you donít know someone I know I donít want to know you (if you see what I mean.)
Of all the Social Networks Twitter is the most exciting because it has an element of random connections.
It sweeps away barriers of time and place and status and race and everything else. People connect only because they find someone else interesting.
Those 140 characters are very revealing. They show the funny, generous, boring, selfish, weird, nasty, wonderful aspects of people and there is no-where to hide. Our stream of Tweets is there for anyone to see and is often the first thing that shows up if someone Googles us.
Why does it annoy me if you arenít on Twitter?
You are a unique human being and may bring sunshine and laughter to my life. How will I ever meet you if youíre not already in my circle of contacts and youíre not on Twitter? I wonít. Iíll miss you and thatís why I get annoyed.
Making new friends is wonderful.
Finding new ideas is wonderful.
Laughing till you ache is wonderful.
Getting a glimpse into someone elseís world is wonderful.
Sharing stuff is wonderful.
Picture credit: David Spender
All this used to be available to us only with a lot of effort by organising parties (then you risk the bore), or waiting to be introduced (then looking for an escape). Ending up in the same place at the same time as someone amazing was a rare treat.
Now, not only can we make connections with a huge variety of real people at almost anytime.....
....we can have conversations with them and see how they interact with other people and how they react to us without a faÁade of polite interest getting in the way.
You can just be you, with your own ideas and opinions and see who finds them interesting.
If anyone does it's not because theyíre trying to ingratiate themselves Ė theyíre strangers. Itís not because they think they need to be polite Ė theyíre strangers. No-one has an axe to grind. No-one remembers you from school. Auntie Jean isnít giving you pitying looks. Your old girlfriend isnít going to start showing photos. Youíre free to be you.
Some people say itís a virtual world. I think itís more real than many of the empty conversations that people have in Ďrealí life.
If youíre not on Twitter, get started and stop depriving the rest of us of the chance to get to know you.
If you are on Twitter, be yourself and donít hide behind a corporate identity.
(And if you auto tweet Ė get real! Cos auto tweeting's a bit like sending a recording of yourself to a party and expecting to pull!)
Thanks very much to Ann for taking the time to write this post.
And thanks very much to you for taking the time to read it. We love to hear your ideas and to have your comments. So who are you missing from Twitter? Or are you not a Tweeter? Why not? See you in the comments. Much love, Ian.
Glad to bring sunshine into your life Ann... and I don't like the auto-tweets much either, you do switch off after a while :)
This is a fantastic article! I am in complete agreement. One argument I often hear for not being on Twitter is 'I have nothing to say'. Yet you have so much to share from retweeting your favourite content to connecting people. And yes, it is more than a virtual world. I have made more connections while on Twitter than I would if I just stuck to my usual circles. Twitter attracts gregarious, generous, fascinating people - are you one of them? PS: If you join, say hi! (just don't auto-DM) @FreeRangeHumans
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