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?

http://twitter.com/#!/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.

http://twitter.com/#!/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.]