Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I spent 15 minutes following Twitter

Never Done: I spent 15 minutes following Twitter

And I concluded that I should follow more people and then do it again. (I put "follow" in italics to indicate that I meant Twitter follow and not just randomly follow.)

Here are the reasons why I wanted to spend some time on Twitter. I have been thinking a lot about how Egyptians used Twitter to bring about radical change, and how it's been used as a political news source and a rallying tool across the world. I have a Twitter account, and a couple weeks ago I started tweeting my daily Never Done blog post titles, and I follow some people, but until today I actually never took the time to look to see how people actually follow Twitter -- where and how tweets come in. It seems important to me to understand how one of the most significant social networks of our times works. I mean, what if we were suddenly engaged in a revolution? I'd want to know where to go to topple some statues!

The other thing that happened is that Anthony Weiner admitted he did in fact tweet lewd (are there any other kind?) photos of his cock to a student. And I just wanted to see -- why would someone tweet a cock shot? I thought Twitter was by nature a public social media forum, so this made me realize there must be a private message function like there is on Facebook.

And as I trolled Twitter and watched the tweets roll in, I started thinking about this week's mide (middah) of Silence: Reflect before speaking (or tweeting.) I think a lot about what I write in these blog posts, since they go out publicly, and I have in fact once written something I later regretted. (I guess one regret out of 260 posts is actually doing pretty well.) Where I have a harder time with the Silence practice is when I am actually speaking. I have a tendency to blurt things out when I am socially off-balance. I did it just yesterday, despite the fact that all week long I've been thinking, reading, and writing about Silence. I think what happens is that once I realize I would be better off not saying something, I've already given some signals (usually preamble) that I'm about to say something, and then it feels really socially awkward to stop. But I actually think (just realizing this now as I write) that this is the path I should follow; the next time I realize I am about to say something I might not want to, I should just stop and face the awkward social silence.

Maybe Anthony Weiner and millions of other Tweeters would like to try the same.

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