Friday, July 3, 2009

Why Twitter is Good for the Soul...

Before I entered the Twitterverse, or sent my first Tweet across the network, I held court and invoked harsh judgments on anyone and everyone who wasted their time on this “mindless endeavor.” I want deeper connections and conversations than the space of 140 characters allows. I write books, for heaven’s sake, and I’ve grown accustomed to 140 pages of open sea on which to launch my message. How meaningful can our conversations really be if the measuring rod is a mere 140 characters deep?

But since jumping in to this ankle-deep flow of words, I’ve changed my mind. I see that Twitter may be good for the soul, and for the soul of the writer in particular. Here’s why…

1. I have to choose my words wisely. When I first started writing, someone told me to imagine the economy of words in this way. You have a message to communicate, but it costs you $1.00 for every word you use to accomplish that task. This helped me learn to cut the unnecessary verbiage and write tight. Same principle applies to Twitter, except every character counts, and my words must be few.

2. I’m more authentic. I can think of no other place than within the realm of social networking where all my worlds come together in one place. I don’t work separate accounts with separate names, one for work, one for family, one for church, etc… I like the fact that my high school friends see my church friends, and my family hears what I’m doing in my work world. My life feels less pigeonholed and more congruent thanks to social networking.

3. I’m no longer isolated in my work. Although the world may think otherwise, every writer knows they cannot write alone. They need to be inspired, supported, critiqued, told they aren’t going crazy, edited and prayed over. I have a whole team of folks I rely on for all these things and I get a touch of it all in my social network.

4. I have opportunity to give and receive kindness from my Twitter community. In the spirit of Robert Fulghum (remember All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?) I believe this is what Twitter is all about…or maybe it’s just what happens in my own unique community. I hope others find the same to be true. I notice personalities emerge and see what’s important to certain people. I connect one follower to another knowing it may enrich their world, or to a video clip or blog that expresses what I know they are thinking about. It creates a tangible touch of kindness in an otherwise cold world of technology. And it really is that simple, as simple as the kindergarten rule of being kind to one another.

Ankle-deep is good. It’s the same pleasure I get when we walk ankle-deep along the edge of the ocean, knowing there is so much more beyond even as my feet touch that vastness in some small way. That’s what I’m doing on Twitter. I’m walking along the edge of an ocean of knowledge, spontaneity, humor, wisdom, business savvy, kindness and everyday life, happy to touch the vastness of each life in some small way.

7 comments:

Joan C. Webb said...

Wow, Marsha, I've been wanting to ask you what you thought about your new adventure in Tweet-hood. Now I know. And I must say that indeed you've changed. :-) I like your reasons. They make sense. And as you know I tweet on a regular, although not saturated basis. It still feels a bit strange to me, but I see the value. I must admit I'm a little more comfortable with Facebook. However, life was easier without either. :-) Well, and it was simpler without email, too. But not I think not as rich. And so it goes--our life with tech. I do think Jesus would have emailed if he would have come at this time in history.

mikeo75 said...

I'm so proud of you Marsha.

I do agree with the authenticity about being on Twitter. I'm friends with people from all walks of my life, work, church, friends, etc., and I basically never censor myself based on who might be reading.

It's been a good way for people I know on the fringe to ask me about things like church, etc.

Nice blog post!

Marsha Crockett said...

Mike, remember when I kept telling you, I just don't get it. Why are people doing this? Maybe I'm beginning to "get it." And having fun with it too.

But I do agree with Joan that are lives aren't quite as simple although I do like the thought that they are richer.

Thanks for the comments!

Prem said...

Very interesting Marsha... I have always wondered about Twitter as well.

From a much bigger perspective, here's something I thought you might like...

http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cellphones_twitter_facebook_can_make_history.html

Later

Prem said...

Ok! for some reason the links dont appear properly...
GO to www.TED.com and search for
Clay Shirky... he talks about social media networking... it gave me a whole different persepective.
Thanks.
Prem

lynnrush said...

Nice! I love Twitter and FaceBook, it brings so many writers together...and you're right, we can't write alone. :-)

Nice post!

Amy Deardon said...

Hi Marsha, may you twitter forever! I'm not interested in joining because frankly I have too much going on as it is, but certainly support anyone who wants to tweet :-) Fun post