Okay, so the self-query is nowhere near as deep as Hamlet’s soliloquy—but in some ways it feels as if it has been drawn out nearly as long.
I’ve had a Twitter account for several years now, and I have followed assorted people for various amounts of time. During that time, I have sent a total of two tweets: one well over a year ago (I don’t recall what prompted me), and one this morning in gratitude to @JonathanMartin for having tweeted about one of my blog posts. (Read his wonderful 21k12 blog here.)
I guess I just don’t get the whole Twitter thing. As I’ve followed some people on it, I’ve received very few tweets that I found valuable. Indeed, the only ones I pay that much attention to are the headlines from The Onion. To me, the stream becomes so much gibberish, too hard to wade through.
Please understand that I am not slamming Twitter as a medium. I’m merely pointing out that it doesn’t seem to work well for me. Or at least I haven’t figured out how to make it work well for me. But I want to. Some nagging feeling keeps telling me that I’m missing out on something from which I could benefit. I also am starting to believe I should do this as part of my job.
Two recent occurrences have me thinking about this more seriously. For some reason, last week I decided to clean up my Twitter account. I deleted some people who I was following, and I added some whose work I respect from other arenas. I added a picture and some slight biographical information to my profile. While doing all this, I saw the aforementioned tweet from Jonathan. Then, having no knowledge of this, my Director of Communications asked me this morning about Twitter and whether I had thought about using it.
My reluctance is based on numerous factors, almost all circling around notions of what sort of tweeter I would like to be. And not be. So in no particular order, here are my misgivings:
· I don’t want my tweets to be all about me and/or self-promotion, i.e. links to my blog posts (although those are okay provided they are not the total)
· People don’t need my status updates. Besides, I have enough trouble keeping up with myself.
· I don’t want to be an overtweeter, sending out multiple ones every day.
· I often write to figure things out, and I can see myself thinking through an essay to try to arrive at a worthwhile tweet.
· The character limit intimidates me. I have to adopt Tom Peters’ idea that it increases rhetorical discipline.
· The entire endeavor strikes me as potentially overwhelming.
· Sending out tweets just doesn’t feel like me.
If I’m going to do this, I have to believe my tweets will add to the conversation. Ultimately, I want them to operate like cerebral and/or emotional pinpricks.
I still haven’t made up my mind, but I’m close. I guess it’s like swimming, and you have to go ahead and jump in. You could follow me @crottymark to see if and when I take the plunge.