All That Twitters Is Not Gold

“Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread. Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique.”

I love Twitter.

However, when I first started tweeting, I was a bit intimidated.  After all, I’m a little nobody in this little corner of the world.  What right do I have to talk about myself?  Moreover, why would I expect anyone else to care?!/shilpiiz/status/13977719037501440

It should come as no surprise, then, that I was once a wallflower in the Twitter dance, marveling at the other glittering tweeps, who seemed to know all the steps.  My one-sided relationship with Twitter involved getting the latest news from my fitness gurus; laughing at (but not replying to) a self-deprecating tweet; and, in general, being a spectator. Eventually, I realized that I actually should be interacting with these tweeps: that I was expected to give feedback, share a tweep’s news/updates that I thought particularly compelling and generally, put as much into Twitter as I was getting from it.!/CtKscribe/status/27074847500

I remember the first time that I interacted with Christina Kingston (@CtKScribe).  She came highly recommended by Clement Yeung (@clementyeung), and after a few clicks around her website, I found her to be fresh and witty, and her social network skills were truly enviable.  I had to follow her.

Along with being a social media goddess, she has a heart of gold.  She was the first person to include me in a group conversation, which even now continues.  I’m so grateful for that interaction, because through it (and her), I had the privilege to know and meet such supportive, loving, and, of course, fun ladies.  I began to learn Twitter’s full potential and realize that even though it was (and is) a lot of fun, I can also use it to create lasting friendships with people who actually care about my goals.  People who remind me that I am not alone.  They are definitely golden threads in my Twitter experiences.

“All that glisters is not gold.” Prince of Morocco, Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare

Naturally, the more I interacted on Twitter, the more friends (I hate saying “followers”) I acquired.  I love meeting new people, and finding seemingly like-minded writers is especially thrilling.  So thrilling, in fact, that I overlooked some…quirks (constant self-promotion and ambiguous RTs to name a few) in favor of being friends.  After all, these people had more followers, more tweets, more gravitas, than I did, so who was I to unfollow them? Thankfully, I got over that thought quickly, and was able to see past the false glistening of some when compared to the truly golden on Twitter.

“A gentle riddance.” Portia, Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare

Twitter is my fun experience, something completely voluntary, and I don’t need to interact, follow, or associate with people who are negative or who produce negative feelings in me.  I am no longer worried about the repercussions of pressing the “Unfollow” button, because honestly, life is too short to waste on what is the equivalent to voluntary spam, especially when I have such great people in my life with whom I’d rather invest my time.

When I think about where I’ve drawn inspiration from over this past year, I realize how grateful I am to these golden threads I follow on Twitter.  They have motivated and supported me toward my goals, some of which I never thought I’d achieve.  They are the ones that matter, and to whom I’m truly indebted.  Sharing the people who have made the most impact in my thinking is just a small way for me to give gratitude and joy back to them.

What impact has social media had in your life?

[This post is tangential to my Across the Twitterverse series.  Other posts include: Thursday Thoughts: on Twitter (yes I know it’s Friday)Across The Twitterverse: The ListsAcross the Twitterverse: The Retweet.  They don’t need to be read in order but it may be nice to see where I’m coming from.]


19 thoughts on “All That Twitters Is Not Gold

  1. Deborah Burns says:

    Beautiful, Liza! Love this post!!!! I’m still a wallflower… still unsure of my footsteps and the dance (as you put it), but I am learning. I am grateful for the sweet peeps like you who have helped me better understand and utilize social media, develop a deeper love for writing, and grow as a person. I suppose it’s just left for me to give as much as I receive. Thank you for sharing, you beautiful person!

    • Liza Kane says:

      Thank you for saying Debbie! I think you’re doing just fine: go at your own pace, at your own comfort level!
      I love it when you stop by! I need to subscribe to your blog so that I can visit you more too!
      Have a great day, friend, and I’ll see you on twitter 😉

  2. Tony Hastings says:

    I think you have really hit the target with this one Liza! I must admit I thought that Twitter was, to put it bluntly, a load of rubbish frequented by shallow idiots until I dipped my toe in the water.

    My own Twitter experience mirrors yours and strangely @CtKScribe and @clementyeung featured prominently in my early days. Maybe they are running a secret initiation society to lure us into their evil web!! (Only joking, lovely people)

    You are so right about the quality of the connections rather than the numbers and I like the way you differentiate between ‘friends’ and ‘followers’, you can soon spot the spammers and salespeople, I do like to see the numbers going up but I value making one good honest connection more than 100 new names on the list.

    Thanks for a thoughtful post Liza


    • Liza Kane says:

      Thank YOU for visiting and for your thoughtful comment! I’m happy that you feel the same way about quality connections versus a slew of people begging to be followed back (which I still don’t understand).
      I look forward to tweeting/chatting with you!

  3. Kayla Olson says:

    LIZA! I love reading this post, and all the comments! It’s been just under a year since I started my Twitter account. Back then, I was SUPER hesitant…I didn’t understand it, hardly knew anyone, and was skeptical about why anyone would want to tweet.

    But, DUDE. It’s been so wonderful. I’ve met several amazing friends—yourself included, heard about lots of great books, been encouraged by other writers, and now, am thrilled to have such a solid, spectacular crit group. Writing is such a solitary thing, and it’s really amazing to have a whole world of writers, especially those who have become close friends, at my fingertips.

    Thanks for being such an amazing, supportive friend. 🙂

    • Liza Kane says:

      KAYLA! (I like our caps tradition!) 😀
      You, our crit group, my nerd squad…DEFINITELY more golden threads that make Twitter a beautiful place to me!
      A twist that I was going to use was more emphasis around the theme: I tweet to know that I’m not alone. Maybe I’ll use that later. 😉
      I’m so happy you’re in my life!

  4. gina says:

    Liza! What a positive read 🙂 All you girls are inspiring me & motivating me to continue on with my social media growth as well. And I think that is a great 2011 resolution all on its own — self-improvement encompassed in just one field, which undoubtedly will lead in improvement in ALL routes of life! Ok, I’m blabbering. I typically hate commenting on blogs (self-consciousness) & I also once loathe tweeting (further self-consciousness) but you girls make me feel OK about it 🙂 So glad to have met you on the most supportive #LoveBoat of all. xx Gina

  5. @CtKscribe says:

    You add a lot of energy to the Love Boat train. It’s only natural for you to be included! Thanks so much for “including me” in your wonderful post! I wonder how many other people feel intimidated when starting Twitter. Or rather what’s the percentage of Tweeters who do. It’s a strange website… many get on and never come back. The lucky thing for us who stayed is getting the opportunity to meet so many others from across the globe. Some real good ones! Like you. As well as the horrible stinkers, like… [no comment] 🙂 BIG CHEERS LIZA! Thank you.

    • Liza Kane says:

      I love this line “The lucky thing for us who stayed is getting the opportunity to meet so many others from across the globe,” because that’s EXACTLY why I love it: it makes distance a moot point when like-minded people want to communicate! Thank you for the support and always making me smile 🙂

  6. and flowers pick themselves says:

    social media has certainly had an impact on my life. at first it was a bit negative, not surrounding myself with the right people, feeling trepidation about expressing myself, etc. i felt the same way about twitter that you did at first. but once i let go of any expectation, pressure, or fear, and just, as simple + cliche as it sounds, started to be myself, i really reaped the rewards, a.k.a. found such a lovely, clever group of inspiring people i would NEVER have met otherwise. i love it!

    xo Alison

    • Liza Kane says:

      I feel the same way: I feel so fortunate now, especially since I’ve met such supportive and inspiring people. I definitely would not have met my crit group were it not for Twitter! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Wookiesgirl says:

    I love this and I too am so glad the great @CtkScribe hooked us up! You are a wonderful woman and a great friend I’ve been blessed with.. All because of Twitter.

  8. Annie says:

    So…I have to say this…I’m having a really hard time right now imagining you as a twitter wallflower. 😀 Awesome, awesome post. It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers, to worry about the amount of people you’re reaching instead of the quality of the relationships. Thanks for the reminder of what’s really important!

    • Liza Kane says:

      Heehee, I know right? didn’t realize that a puny little “@” symbol could be so intimidating! 😉
      Thank you so much for saying, and yes, the quality of the tweep means more to me than the number of followers they roll with (half of which are probably spam).
      I can’t wait to read what the ink phantom and minions have been up to since your break: I finally have time to actually do things like read blogs now that it’s not the holiday season!

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