Silence and Writing

All these heavy blog topics of late … ugh. Time for something lighter and jovial maybe.

I posted a tweet last night “Used to be all you had to do was walk over a mountain and into a new town to be someone else, Now you can just create 10 twitter accounts. Hello.”

No sooner did I post it than someone in Australia (?) or maybe he’s in New Zealand, I’m not really sure entirely, retweeted it with the comment “Show of hands, how many of you are Erin?”

I laughed and bantered with someone else on twitter for a few minutes and let it go.

But I was only half joking when I posted it. It seems, at times, some people aren’t quite all there and I wonder if they’re even real … but then it’s twitter. What could we ever possibly know about someone else on twitter? 140 characters is akin to silence … and if you add hashtags of any kind, the silence grows. And people post dumb things  … and the silence grows louder for lack of explanation.

I was always avidly against twitter. I refused to set up an account … until I had to. When an agent hands you their card and says where can I find you online? and what’s your twitter handle? you scramble to make a twitter account as fast as you can.

My first follower was Drew Kaufman. That still makes me smile. We’d had a conversation about being twitter-illiterate that day, but then he took the time to go and find my account.

Six months later, thousands of posts in, 1500 followers, and I still feel pretty much twitter-illiterate. I’m socially awkward on land. Some days I feel even more socially awkward online. Makes me want to never post again.

I’ve tended to stick with people I know in real life lately. I’m still leery of those in the cyber zone. I mean there’s no harm in funny tweets back and forth but … when you’re approaching it for writing and finding other writers, it’s hard to know where the lines are, what boundaries to set, how to interact.

Some days I’d just like a life-coach to step in and tell me what to do and what not to do so I know the rules, because it’s really hard to know what they are.

You know, maybe I should approach it all as a joke. No more serious stuff. All smiles and happy faces and one-off comments filled with dry humor no one gets. Then again, maybe I should make another account with a new name and be someone else entirely. How much fun would that be? I could say what I wanted without fear of reprisal. Like who I wanted. Talk about what I wanted. And no one would know.

It’s just twitter, right? It’s not life.


5 thoughts on “Silence and Writing

  1. Oh man does this ring a bell of truth with me because I am in the same boat as you. I have avoided social media to the best of my ability. I find absolutely nothing useful from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, whatever else is out there nowadays that I don’t know about.

    People feel like they’re better communicating with others. They have this sense of being in touch with their friends and family and making meaningful connections, but how is that? I don’t find anything personal about sending out a tweet or Facebook status because it’s not directed at anyone, but rather posted because the person feels the necessity to be… what? Accepted? Important? I dunno.

    I think social media has corrupted the human mind to a point where they don’t know how to have actual, meaningful interactions with each other any more and that scares me. Though, I suppose the important thing is to remember not to take social media too seriously. Additionally, to not rely on it. It’s a mean of communication, but not a way of life.

    • “I think social media has corrupted the human mind to a point where they don’t know how to have actual, meaningful interactions with each other any more and that scares me.”

      It scares me too. Especially after the encounter I had last month with someone from Twitter. You’re right … it is all somewhat of an illusion because no matter how many thousand 140 character tweets someone puts out there, you can’t really know what they’re like unless you’ve met them in real life. I’m still up in the air about whether you can make meaningful connections with people though. I think I’ve connected on some level with some people but it hasn’t really been through twitter or facebook … rather emails later on and things.

      But still, it’s not real life. And people need to know how to connect in reality. 🙂

      • Reality… like the internet isn’t a part of reality or is an alternate reality altogether. What a fascinating concept. Yet, it’s true. It really is like a different world with different rules that only a select few understand. Though, to be honest, I’m happy that I don’t understand the rules. I prefer my reality where people acknowledge each other when they walk down the street with a simple nod and a smile, hold doors, and are aware of their surroundings. (I guess I have the mentality of an older generation. :/)

        • Well, the internet is part of reality but what people post is only a stray part of who they really are. For example – I engaged in conversation with someone from twitter for a period of time. At first things were fine, they seemed. This person was all happy and encouraging and enthusiastic about what they were doing and what I was doing. Still, I was careful and checked them out. Everything they posted seemed like who they were … but as time passed, things became a little darker and then they admitted that who they presented themselves as online was not how they were in private life. It was like seeing two sides of a person and it was hard to understand. I couldn’t un-think or ignore what I knew from private conversations when on twitter any more. I found myself wishing I could “un-learn” what I already knew because I really liked this person a lot and enjoyed our conversations …

          But now i find myself wondering if anyone is who they say they are and it really scares me. I’m trying to stick to people I know in the flesh.

          I am, like you, someone who likes people interacting with one another over the dinner table, passing by in the street, having conversations.

          • Ah. I can wholeheartedly understand what you are saying and, to be completely honest, I, too, take on a mild persona when online. It’s not that I mean to. Additionally, I never lie about who I am (I mean, since I’m an adult now and not a child trying to not be a child while on Neopets :p). Even so, it’s like my voice changes, but I think that has more to do with the people I interact with rather than being online, which it does in person, too. I suppose I’ve learned over the years on the internet (few though they may be) that you can never truly tell who the other person is and that’s scary. However, because I know that, I can prepare myself from the terrible interaction you seem to have experienced, for which I’m truly sorry. I know that same experience. I have gotten through it and I know you will, too. It just takes time and the assistance of people you trust, which generally is offline people because they are tangible and they can remind you of the good and trustworthy people in the world. Until you feel you can return, please be strong! I know you are!

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