Saturday, July 8, 2017

Twitter (v.) - Making new friends. Having fun.

This is awkward. Anytime a person says the sentence I'm getting ready to say, it nearly always implies they mean the exact opposite. But I really do not. So, that said, here's my sentence: I truly don't mean to offend any of my many Twitter friends by saying what I'm about to say.

I don't understand Twitter users who have, for instance, 16 people they're following and, conversely, a total of 12,548 followers.  Here's what those numbers look like on Twitter. You know, closer together.

Following - 16   Followers - 12, 548

It's jarring. At least I'm jarred by it. I'm struck. My attention is captured. I'm stumped, flummoxed. I'm not appalled or anything. I'm only sort of conflicted or confused. Maybe a little bit offended? But only a little, because I have heard the explanations. The one most often handed over is this old standby: I only follow people I really really want to see posts from, people I actually know. Well fine and good and fine, but here's what I see in my already overworked mind when you say that: You standing in a corner of a room talking to sixteen people you know in real life and see everyday in your living room or around the block and who you don't need Twitter to talk to in the first place.

But, in defense of Twitter users seen with these numbers, they cannot, absolutely cannot, be held accountable for the number of people who follow them on this social media platform. And this has nothing to do with my point. My point is this: If they were to follow some of them back I truly believe they'd make a lot more new friends and have a lot more fun.

About two weeks ago, I put this theory into practice. I didn't have the staggering numbers some of my friends have, but I had a noticeable difference. I think it was roughly this:

Following - 321   Followers - 1,252

Here's the truth: I really don't know how this happened. It wasn't planned. I basically stopped following back at some point, I think. Mostly out of laziness. This combined with a lack of checking in on my account and before I knew it I had this big old difference in numbers. In total fairness, this may be the case with many of my friends, too. I have no idea. That said, part of my purpose with this post is to encourage those friends to put my theory to practice, though. Because when I did, my Twitter feed became much much more interesting. And I've started chatting with a crazy amount of hilarious, wise, witty, and charming people.

My theory wasn't complicated. Make things right. Carrying it out was actually fun. I took to Twitter and went first to each account that had followed me. Watching out for bots, I followed people back. No real discretion. How could I know who would be potential online friends? Then I went looking for more remarkable guys and gals. It was fun. Try it, seriously. I honestly think it was what Twitter was invented for. 

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