My mind is awash with all sorts of thoughts about the dialog I am having with the world.
I never dreamed that when I spoke to the world it would speak back to me. I was amazed as Alice to discover that the world expects to have a conversation. As I dipped my little toe into Twitter, people followed me and then they retweeted me, well at least one did. Shocking.
How strange and wonderful this new connectivity is, when our very exchanges can be simple thoughts, a trickle of an idea or a random observation. Who allowed this to happen? These tweets aren’t well-constructed sentences or complete thoughts and often are complete nonsense. Do the English Teacher Police know about this?
In my past life, work correspondence or email exchanges had a reason for occurring and generally didn’t occur between completely unidentified strangers. And they never consisted of merely a single thought, a tweet, who thought of such a concept? As a rule-follower-perfectionist, my first question stops me in my tracks: Is there one right way to tweet?
Alas, I couldn’t find a rulebook, but eventually I learned to distinguish the various identities and purpose for social media. Facebook is my personal journal to share with friends and family, easy to comprehend. LinkedIn is a tool that requires content to be business-related or there will be no linking! Slowly I learn about Instagram and Pinterest, and I confess I have no idea what Tumbler is all about.
Beyond the first phase of understanding social media lay the biggest surprise of all. I discover how much I have in common with my fellow human beings. My likes and dislikes, my values and interests are not unique to me. If social media makes the world more impersonal than why do I feel that now I am so much more a part of it? I have exchanged thoughts, feelings and opinions with people all over the world. A Pastor in Scotland, a writer in South America, and many descendants of survivors of the Armenian genocide now connected to me by a single bond I didn’t realize I could tap into.
Rarely in life are we judged merely by our words – the vehicle by which we express ourselves. Clearly, we believe actions speak louder than words. So there is some sweet protection in the anonymity of social media. It is another level of human connection and I haven’t decided yet if it is a freeing, positive way to connect with others or the opportunity for the biggest delusion of all.
I think I’ll go tweet about it.