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Why Are You On Twitter?

September 23 2010

femalelookingthroughbinoculars200pxI am a people watcher. I like to observe and read people based on interactions, body language, patterns and more. I naturally notice patterns and always try to analyze the “why” and “how” of things, sometimes I just shouldn’t (that’s a different post). Over the last few years I have been watching some patterns of behavior develop on Twitter. There seems to be a LOT of glory seeking. I guess I just don’t get it.

If You Think I am Talking About You…
I don’t want to be accused of any sweeping generalizations so let me preface this by saying there are very FEW people I see doing this in relation to the number of people I do watch. If you think I am talking about you, I am not, and you might want to take a little time doing some self-discovery. When your first thought is “Hey! She’s talking about me” then you might be questioning your own motivation for being on “The Twitter.”

Roosters
Some people like to strut about like roosters. I am one of those people that enjoys observing those people, because I can see the ‘train wreck’ about to happen. I have watched people build and create their own “brand” and presences for reasons which are not truly genuine or altruistic, yet others might not see it. I am often able to perceive the games and the plans that others have made even when they don’t think it is apparent. Maybe it is a talent, maybe not—the ability to observe the patterns.

Do They Get It?
Sometimes I wonder why people are using Twitter. Is it purely to monetize their experience on the Web? I don’t get that. I am all about making a living and finding an income if you can find an additional stream of revenue, but if the sole purpose of being here it to create something from nothing—like people who decide today they want to be “Social Media Experts” and brand themselves that way with no experience, no related background or knowledge.

We all see that too often and not just recently. When I first started using Twitter in the Spring of 2008 there is someone I began watching who had also just started. I see where they went and how they did. Talk about snake oil. I think being here is about being human and being real. Genuine. How can you be genuine if you have ulterior motives? Or am I just too idealistic?

Transparency in Two Ways
There is a lot of debate in the space about being transparent. I think there are two kinds of transparency. The first is the ‘this is who I am’ transparency, which people choose to display. Beyond that I think there is the other transparency that you can only see if you are wearing your X-Ray specs. That’s the where I can see the games and plans. It is often ridiculously transparent to me how and what people are up to. I won’t call them out, I will just watch. I also know I am not the only one who is observing this. There is sort of a ‘Secret Society of X-Ray Spec Wearers’ around. Those people usually trip themselves up in the end. Karma has a way of sorting things out. But do know this—I see you and I am not the only one.

Being Genuine and Serendipity
I believe completely in being genuine. I am the kind of person that if I misspoke, I expect to be called out for it. I like to be held to my own standards and am the first to admit if I flub up (oh, I often do. Apparently I like the taste of shoe sole). I am who I am and that is all that I am and serendipity has been kind to me in making some amazing friends via Twitter and face-to-face opportunities. I don’t research people, I refuse to—I want to just meet people and if I like them then I learn more. I usually like most people. I think that helps me stay genuine. So I have a hard time understanding the ones that seem to have a game plan or end result in mind for every action and move. Yes, life can be a game of chess, but I think socializing shouldn’t be.

What’s My Point?
I am not really sure, but CC ChapmanCC Chapman got me thinking when he tweeted something this morning in a conversation, “I don’t need glory…” Being in this space affords many of us great opportunities to do great things and that is not about glory at all. It is about helping others, bringing causes to light, moving projects forward, lifting people up, making the world better. CC is doing that for Dad’s, amongst others things CC can do and how he gives.


Having just returned from being in Boston for the #140 Character Conference there, seeing lots of my friends, old and new, reminded me a lot of the value of this space and the power of it. What the thought leaders are trying to show us and demonstrate. I think too often people are saying things and not truly meaning them. I think more often we need to turn our words into actions. Be accountable to ourselves and to the space.

People also need to remember to be humane—to be kind and thoughtful, to truly care about others' feelings. To respect your ‘friends’ and not step on them, use them, or toss them away lightly. People react too temperamentally sometimes, and that is often their undoing. If you think you ‘know’ something someone else is up to, think again—unless you ask you can never truly know. That is the basis for the “Jumping to Conclusions” post I am working on.

I don’t need glory, I don’t seek glory, I only want to make connections and be the best person I can be. I think I am really lucky to have found a lot of great people to surround myself with in this space and everyone can have that. So, please, respect the spirit of the space—check your ‘ulterior motives’ at the door and enjoy yourself and let serendipity happen.

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