On Monday, I made my 1000th twit, or it is tweet? Anyway, I left my 1000th entry on Twitter. I am not sure what this makes me. A very shallow person who lives life through 140 characters or less? Someone who has a lot to say about almost nothing? I guy who enjoys the weak ties to other people in a very non committed way? Maybe I am a little of all of these things, or maybe none of them. I don’t know.
I like Twitter a lot. I really feel connected to others in a way that I have never been before. My own personal world is very small. I have a great family and a great job. That is my circle. I rarely go out for any social experiences. I don't belong to any groups, and the number of real life friends I have is small. I don't think I consciously made a choice for this to happen, it is simply the way your personal reality becomes when you settle down and start a family.
Twitter has allowed me to expand my social circle in a way that I had not imagined before my first Twit. Twitter has become important to me personally and professionally. My day is not complete unless I have checked it 20- 30 times and made at least 10 good entries. So I have developed my own way of seeing the proper use of Twitter. I try to not be angry or upset a lot on Twitter. It happens, but I do try to limit it. Everyone thinks it is funny when you lose it over something stupid like not being able to make your own Mac and Cheese, but no one wants a constant barrage of negativity.
I think it is only polite that if someone follows you that you take the time to check them out and follow them back. Unless they are some front for spam, or they are mindless twitterers who post the top 100 mundane things they do each day. I like a wide variety of things and love to hear differing points of view. I don't want to hear people rant, or see the ugliness out there. I can block users that I simply don't approve of, but if for some reason, they are trying for a world record of peop to follow, I'll keep them but just not return the follow. That is my choice. I am currently following 100 people and being followed by 84. I would like the numbers to be even, but it is ok this way, I don't worry about the numbers. I think the give and take is much more important.
I like it when people share ideas, links, and cool things on the web. I like to share back when someone needs help, or maybe a laugh. This is the exchange that makes Twitter feel like a community and a conversation. This is what attracted me.
I don't like it when people preach from the mountain top. I don't want to follow people who don't think that I am good enough to hear from. I don't believe that is what the new social web is all about. If I want to be treated that way, I can just watch TV. There are plenty of people on TV who will be happy to talk down to me.
The other day one of my fellow Twitter friends shared a post from David Jakes called, Tragedy of the Commons. Mr. Jakes’ post upset me very much, but even so, I refuse to comment on his blog. I have even waited to respond for six days because it has bothered me so much. This is the part that summed up the entire post for me-
"In my opinion, Twitter really has also changed how some people interact, and not in a positive way. When did the defacto standard greeting at a conference become “Hi, I follow you on Twitter.” How about “Good Morning?” Then, “But you don’t follow me.” Gee, sorry, not my responsibility…"
I had never heard of Mr. Jakes before I read this blog entry, but the post bothers me because it seems that this man is making a living being some sort of education and technology guru. He has 921 followers on Twitter and only 78 are important enough for him to follow in return, and with the statement above, it really seems to me that he simply does not care enough to fake concern for the people who probably help to put food on his table. He comes across as an educational technology elitist. I hope that is not really the way he is because I don't think that is the type of person who should be influencing others.
If I was following him, which I am not, and never will now, I would block him. I know he wouldn't care, because I am nobody. I am unimportant in the world of instructional technology, or anywhere else really. But that's ok, my dog likes me. If he can disregard us nobody Twitterers, I can certainly return the favor. I might be throwing out lots of good stuff with the one bad thing I came across, but I will take that chance.
There are plenty of other people who can at least pay me the compliment of faking that I could be important to them. Will Richardson passed along an article that I sent him. That one small thing made me feel pretty good. Sylvia Martinez and I actually had a conversation once when she responded to my blog. I thought that was really cool. Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach is someone that I have worked with, well I should clarify, we have held the same position (computer resource specialist) in the same school division, we have talked, and she has always been nice to me. The point here is that maybe I am a nobody to these other educational technology leaders, but at least they have the manners enough to not come right out and say it.
Who knows, maybe this was just Mr. Jakes plan to drum up conversation on his blog. If so, maybe it worked in the short term. He has 60 responses to this one blog entry. Will this increase his following? Not with this one little nobody. I really don't need anyone to poke me with a stick and point out that I don’t matter. That is simply not the positive experience I am looking for in life.
Don't worry Mr. Jakes, if I ever have the opportunity to ever meet you, I will not say, "Hi, I follow you on Twitter. But you don’t follow me.”
But I will say, Good day to you, Sir!