I always thought Twitter was for 20-somethings and celebrities talking about their latest fashion faux pas—until I set up an account to find out what the fuss was all about. Gee willikers, Sarge! It’s like a whole ’nuther universe out there!
I quickly came to recognize that Twitter was a far bigger deal than I realized. But I didn’t Tweet immediately. It was too intimidating! What could I say that wouldn’t make me sound like a total dweeb–and who would read it anyway?
Knowing my niece is social-media savvy, I searched for her name, found it and became a follower. She immediately repaid the favor. My first follower! I gingerly tested the water by sending her my first Tweet—a thank you for helping to save me from social media ignorance.
Without even trying, I soon began receiving notices that I had other followers. Huh? Where did THEY come from? How did they even find me? Most weren’t people I knew! It quickly became apparent that these were the “collectors”—those hoping to collect followers by becoming followers themselves. I became wary about reciprocating, realizing that these weren’t individuals who gave a rat’s patoot about what I had to say.
As the number of people I followed increased, so did my participation. I would sit mesmerized, watching the new messages appear, one after the other. It was dizzying trying to keep up! Before I could digest an inspirational quote, I’d be distracted by a suggestion for an intriguing new blog and then get sidetracked again with a link to a new restaurant. If I blinked, I could miss a half-dozen posts, neglecting messages about new job opportunities or the status of the police chase across town.
My learning curve has been speeding up exponentially lately. I’m learning how to quickly filter through the posts, taking notes on the ones I want to explore later and adding events to my calendar so I don’t overlook them. It’s a brave new world out there, and I am scrolling as fast as I can to keep up!