I joined Twitter years ago – more than 6, but I am not sure exactly how many. After HP networks and Facebook it was yet another social media platform I only joined to prove to myself that I would fail at it as well. I stayed. I’m not very vocal, but I found many dear friends, who in numerous cases turned from tweeps into real life people and sometimes even surrogate family. And I had some successes thanks to Twitter I’d never dared to hope for.
Still, Twitter and I – we remained a hate/love relationship and at least every other day I am ready to quit. Here, I am not talking about the even darker side of online bullying. This is about the differences in what we seek on Twitter and how we use it. Our sometimes antipodal perspectives on the medium.
Just the other day I unfollowed a couple of people, one of them at least I consider as more than just a mere acquaintance. I didn’t unfollow them, because I don’t care for them anymore. I did so, because I probably care too much.
When I’m on Twitter I seek connection. I have this blog for the moments, in which I want to talk to the universe. I have walls and a cat when I want to talk to myself. Twitter however, it is for me like a coffee shop where I sit down at someone else’s table (after some fighting with myself until I built up the courage) or they sit down at mine and we talk – back and forth, real communication. That’s why we once both chose to follow the other. At least, that is how it is for me. I don’t follow randomly.
So, when I start a conversation by sending out a tweet (yes, I would be much more comfortable and happier if others would tweet me, but it seldom happens so that I do have to leave my comfort zone for the other continent way down yonder called ‘I jump in’) and it is simply favorited (no guys, that is no real reply, the more so as depending on the application used the other side doesn’t even see the favorite) or there is no reaction at all – well, it disappoints. When it happens more often when once or twice, you start to wonder, what’s wrong with yourself, and it starts a vicious circle down into this pit that holds all the mud of insecurity and worry and disappointment.
You know that the other person probably just looks different on the whole thing, not that selective, not that serious, not the coffee shop but a dance floor or the bar during a pool party. It’s not malice from their part (or so one hopes). But to watch the dancing and skipping, while waiting to be the one for a short break and some words after calling out for some time – it drives me crazy and makes me sad.
I can’t expect others to change for me. I can ask, but – oh well, let’s just say it usually doesn’t work and sometimes makes things worse. Hence, I am constantly on the verge of leaving. As I know however that I will not do it yet I am also attached to my sanity, I now unfollowed in the hope the other parties will see this as a chance to drop by on their terms.
But now I wonder – is my view of things on Twitter so different again to that of the majority? How do others handle the difference in expectations? I mean it’s not possible that everyone except of me has the personality of a ham, the self-security of a vampire/werewolf hybrid and the skin of an elephant.