I’ve used twitter under one name or the other from not long after it started. It really isn’t the device where you text that you’re on the 3rd stir of your cup of tea, it’s an awesome near realtime communication tool and an even greater leveller of people from so many walks of life.
For the most part I have communicated with so many people I would not have met, socialised with or even entered their sphere of influence.
As such I had a rule that I’ve only broken twice, you see I noticed that once people went past the 30,000 followers mark, they would begin to suffer from the shear number of tweets, which they lose touch and indeed the ability of the tool is no longer viable in a personal way.
After 30,000 it becomes a PR device and little more – so has it been of use to me? and why have stayed connected to people over the 30k threshold.
Yes it has been of use to me and no more so then during this last six months. It really became noticeable while I was working very late one Saturday night when I sent out the message “In a muddy field in the middle of nowhere”. This is actually quite a normal place for me to be when hauling milk tankers about. But the response from one person was instant, and I realised that while I need to be a little more careful of what I write, right there was a voice of care and the ability to gain immediate assistance.
I now use Google Latitude, so not only can people send tweets, they can follow me on a map on the web.
In more recent times and for regular readers, they know I’ve been recuperating from injuring my shoulder… Now I feel that the TWBrit must bare a little soul here;
I’m often not a nice person, it’s a flaw of mine. I have an arrogant air that often astounds even me and I don’t like it. But in these past weeks I have been truly humbled by the care and distinct affection shown to me by people on twitter.
I don’t say this lightly, people Direct Messaging me daily to check I’m alright etc.
I am humbled, I have not asked anyone to drop by, but I know I only have to ask and they will.
Today, in a world so full of greed and hatred, people often show their greater and more natural sides in this medium, I too have noticed an old (better) trait of mine coming back. You see I’m not impressed by celebrity, fame, power because having witnessed bad things around the world, you realise that we are weak, emotional and fragile. I truly believe in people first, only if the mandate of a job is so vital that it’s sensitivity is taken on board would anything change me from this. If someone needs real help and I can assist – irrespective of work or anything else I will – and I haven’t really had that mindset for quite a while.
So it’s a breath of fresh air to talk and feel care from quarters you wouldn’t and I am grateful.
My life has been a real adventure, but I am more often than not a grumpy old guy – so yes, it’s good to feel humbled and it’s right to sometimes be disarmed and I truly thank everyone who has shown this care through this medium.
As for going over 30k, well just the other day someone who I really don’t know personally, but seem to tweet with quite a bit with - hit the 30k. Now while she lives kinda around the corner from me, she was also aware that I (and others) drop people at 30k. The moment they passed the threshold she tweeted ‘are you still there?’
I didn’t initially respond because, well, I’m an evil s.o.b. with a cheesy grin, but later I did make a remark and her response (a human one) guaranteed my not dropping her and probable continued follow for while she ever uses this medium and thats what this is all about – being human and communicating.
It is worth it, it’s useful, you will meet people from all over the world. For the most part I talk to people I wouldn’t normally know but you know what? I’ve learned cool places to eat, where to go, how to get things I normally couldn’t and so many other useful things. Yet to take a moment you realise that anyone of these people could be the person who saves your life…
I have made reference here to several people and the crazy thing – I’ve not met anyone whom I’ve refered to! There is someone whom I will mention soon, but I’m doing a little work for at the moment, so I shall refrain.
But simply – thank you.