Okay, so I’m not great with twitter. I understand the concept of it. I know how it works technically, it’s just, well…I’m not the sort of person who can just jump into the middle of a conversation with a:
“hey there, I’m @babyfacedpreach and here are the gazillion reasons that you are going to want to follow me.”
Most of the people I know think its great because it gives them immediate access to people…CEO’s and celebs and the like…personally I’m not that much bothered by CEOs and celebs, when I meet one in real life I don’t have the overwhelming urge to slip into the seat across from them and say ‘hi’, or spend seventy million hours trying to come up with one witty line so that they’ll remember me (not having the advantage of seeing my outstanding good-looks on the twitter machine).
So I’m struggling. With the follows and the followers. With the tentative hello’s and the subtext that I know I am missing. This bothers me, because in real life I pride myself on being able to read a situation, I have this sense for body language and the pitch and tone of voice that gives me insights into the person who I’m dealing with. In the faceless toneless world (well except for the lol’s and :D) I am missing a sense, and I while I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it is crippling me, I do think I am much less comfortable without it.
In my six weeks of getting up and running I am finding a rhythm of sorts…I’m only following people of interest to me. This great ‘epiphany’ has only happened in recent forays on the phone (my primary medium)…if your profile tweaks my interest then I’m yours for the following. This of course will horrify my marketing masters (the wonderful Kevin and Ciaran of BeCreative‘s diploma in eBook Publishing) because follower = sales, or something…
I am at once naive and innocent of the world of sales, my ‘Preacher’s Boy’ is for YA, 15+, but I’m not going to blanket follow this age bracket and pepper them with commentary that is not true to me, just to keep their interest. It will probably be my downfall, but even with a convenient nome de plume and the protection of the Babyfacedpreacher and @babyfacedpreach I still can’t abandon the core of who I am, my fundamental essence seeps into everything that I am, and I can’t forsake myself to become to people something that I am not.
And of course I am a talker, so now that I have twitter and have selected ‘friends,’ I am not going to machine tweet a sales pitch. And already making this decision has paid off. I have met people, rather than accounts, I have been able to widen my circle beyond what is available or accessible here, in Ireland. I can follow the people I admire and watch how they live their online lives. I can seek the emulate the ones that most closely map to my world view.
And off-line I’ve started to have more interesting encounters now too (not that this is in any way related to twitter but there is a shared point I promise). On Friday I went to my first Civil Ceremony Reception. The grooms were radiant, the food was amazing, the drink was flowing, and like every Irish Wedding (I apologise to anyone who takes offence at calling it a wedding, but for me it was – hopefully the legislation will catch up soon) there were old folk jiving, and the speeches, gosh the speeches, they were funny, and poignant and witty and full of love and committment, and heartbreakingly honest. And in my drunken zen in the taxi on the way home I realised that the day had not been the slightest bit weird, only beautiful, and it was because it was people getting married, people who I knew were deeply in love, people who I admire and respect getting married, and there was only happiness from me, because they had found love and they had found each other…I’m not really a drunken crier, and this realisation did not stymie me to tears, but it catches at the throat, because it was something that rings true for me. That it is the honesty in the relationships that is important, not who the relationship is with, and not what you get up to behind closed doors, but once the relationship is fulfilling, and mutually edifying, and that it is a love that builds up not tears down.
So honesty in relationships, honesty in love, honesty in your dealings with others, honesty with yourself. That’s all that I ask of myself of my friendships and that’s all I’ll try to give.