I fell for it. Hook, line and sinker … whatever that cliché really means. I assume it means ‘totally’ which would be an apt description. I’m speaking about the Twitter Trap. At least it was a trap for me, but perhaps it’s actually not an issue for you. If that’s the case, this won’t be very interesting. But, I have done an about-face and corrected my course and hope that this post will serve as a reminder to me if I ever start drifting back into ‘the trap’.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS:
Yep. Found myself getting wrapped up into feeling as if the number of followers I had somehow validated who I am. There I was, following people whom I had no clue as to who they were, and practically begging them to give me a follow-back. And, oh my word, should I ask a ‘famous’ person to follow back … well, insert cricket noises. What was I thinking?
THE NARCISSIM FACTOR:
My, how people do love to talk about themselves! The main difference I find between Twitter and say Facebook, is that Twitter people love to talk to others. Facebook people like to talk with each other. At least in my experience that’s what I’ve seen. My least favorite tweet is the humble brag. Goes something like this, “Wow, can’t believe I have another book signing today. What are you doing today?” I guess I could answer, “Laundry” but somehow now I feel inadequate to even be breathing on the same planet.
Quite some time ago, I wrote a blog about Idol Worship, with the emphasis on Christians putting well-known Christians up on pedestals and how that just can’t be good for those well-known Christians. Although all forms of social media are guilty of this, Twitter has the worst offenders. It’s not just the numbers that tell the story, as in millions of followers hanging on their every tweet, it’s the glaring idolatry dripping from the worshipers. For example, a person tweets, “I’m sitting in the airport just 20 feet away from MATT REDMAN!!!! OMG!!!!” And the comments that followed were no better. As if being in the proximity of Matt Redman somehow warrants such behavior. I simply reply, “So”. I know, I’m a real favorite on Twitter.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT–NOT:
Twitter is not a place that I would go to if I needed a word of encouragement. Oh, I suppose if I tweeted that I actually did need a word of encouragement, some poor stranger might actually feel sorry for me and tweet something without knowing who I am or what I’m going through. It’s not only about a need to be encouraged at times; it’s the near total lack of replies to a happy event in my life. For example, today I celebrated my first grandchild’s birthday. It’s kind of a big deal to me. I posted that fact on Twitter with an absolutely adorable pic of my grandson. And as my husband loves to say, “Insert cricket noises.” Yep. Silence. Posted the same note and pic on Facebook and people quickly chime in with notes of happiness for me and the birthday boy. And of course, this goes both ways as I love to give a shout out to people celebrating important events in their lives.
MAKE IT QUICK:
So often you just can’t say all there is to say on Twitter. That whole 140 character thing can lead to poor inflection, let alone poor grammar. Dare I ever try to comment about a tweet regarding an article, blog, book review, etc. that in any way disagrees with the OT (original tweeter), prepare for a quick retort. It’s just not the place to actually hold a fair discussion where both parties can come away fully understanding the intent of the comment(s).
WHAT AM I? CHOPPED LIVER???
I think for me, the worst part about the ‘Twitter Trap’ is the damage it does to ones sense of who they are. Now I’ll be the first to admit this is probably a personality problem. Not everyone takes issue with this. Sadly though, I do/did. When someone tweets a comment, or a link to say an audio/video sermon, or to an article they wrote, and I find the comment/sermon/article warrants a question on content or meaning, I’ll tweet them and ask my question. *insert cricket noises* What??? Am I not worth answering? Am I not famous enough or important enough to qualify to get a minute of your time? In all fairness, they would probably defend themselves in that they can’t reply to everyone, now can they? So what’s the point of tweeting it? For my benefit, and all those in the Twittersphere!? Whatever their reason, it feels like dog pooh.
HORAY FOR THE CHOSEN FEW:
The odds of you being a Twitter follower of mine, now reading this blog, is extremely low. But I do want to give a big thank you to those that don’t fall into any of those categories above. You are the chosen few who gladly follow back; you quickly regard my comments; you do appreciate those that take time to read what you write in articles and blogs; and you always make one feel like an equal human being. To borrow the tag line from a song, “You light up my life.”
Even after all my ranting and whining on this subject, I will remain on Twitter. There are those that wholeheartedly disagree with me and only use Twitter for social media. I value who you are so I’ll stay put in order to keep in touch. And there are those well known(s) who greatly bless me with their articles and sermons, even if they never reply to my questions. I may not like it but I do concede. I’ve trimmed down my list to reflect the people I know and enjoy. Perhaps now I’ll have less to whine about. And thus I step out of ‘the trap’!