I have been on Twitter now for about 4 months.
Back in March I wrote about my initial thoughts
of the environment, and was met with a variety of
I have come to carve out my own experience
of the site. For starters, I took on being myself,
regardless of what the "repercussions" would be.
Apparently I am not doing too badly. Somehow
I have managed to have 3000+ people follow me
at the time of this writing.
In addition, of those that I communicate with
regularly, they seem to be of a similar mold as
I am - sarcastic, tweet a lot (sending out lots of
messages), chatty, have a similar sense of humor
(or at least can appreciate mine) etc.
It's difficult to know where to draw lines in the
Twitter world. Some come on with blatant money
driving guns blasting. Others are more subtle.
Some have no economic interest at all in being
There are people I follow who I don't really
know, and are all about selling their product or
service. It's OK. If I am not interested, I don't
do anything about the information. I just pay
attention to the things of interest.
If I really didn't like it, or it was a problem, I
would just unfollow (which means I would no
longer see their information) and be on my
merry way. No big deal. No flourish. Just a
click of a button. Done.
I never object to the *commercial* tweets in part
because everyone has to make a living. It
really is THAT SIMPLE in my mind.
However, having said that, I must say that I
would say that EVERYTHING in one way or
another is commercial.
You recommend a food product, talk about a
commercial, drive a certain car, recommend
news sites...it is ALL a commercial of some sort.
As a matter of fact, many companies love the
word of mouth advertising.
Somehow, it seems that the minute it gets
"personal," the minute that it is "obvious," the
minute that it is clear that someone is promoting
something that means you might be spending
money with them, people get up in arms! It
seems OK for the Wal-Marts and Pepsis of the
world to have commercials, but not for an
individual. Even if it's not OK, per se, they
don't seem to get the same treatment as an
individual who is promoting him/herself.
I am writing this today because one of my
followers told me that when they shared about
one of my recordings, there were several people
who unfollowed, and wrote a DM (a private
message in the world of Twitter) that was
mean spirited because the follower of mine
was pitching another person's product - never
mind the fact that this follower apparently
felt that it was worthy to share, and might be
helpful for others.
It is obvious they have a different opinion than
I do, and if they were to read this they would
likely disagree with my perspective.
The point for me in all of this, is the same point
that underlies much of how I look at life. Why
can't we respect other's perspectives? There
is plenty of room on Twitter for all types of
perspectives. If someone doesn't like something
they can just move on. If you don't like what a
store is selling, do you go inside and rudely tell
them that, and then leave? No. you just walk
Even if you went inside, if you saw what was
there, and it didn't fit you or your style, would
you tell them in some rude way? I don't think
it very likely. Instead, you would just leave.
What is it about the Internet (or about life in
general) that has people acting with a total lack of
respect or regard for others? If the situation was
reversed, I seriously doubt that they would
appreciate the approach.
There are people behind the words and messages,
many just doing the best that they can. We can
all fake being someone we're not (most are quite
good at it - but that is a whole other conversation).
However, I have to give credit to those who are
true to themselves, and do the things that feel
right to them.
To my follower who got the rude treatment, I
thank you, and apologize for what you got as a
result. I always say people should be true to
themselves, but never to the detriment of another.
So while I give credit to the people who spoke
their mind, I personally take issue with the way
they did it.
There always have been and always will be
differences of opinion. Wars have been waged,
relationships ended or never begun, money
lost or gained, and countless other circumstances
and results, all because of what people did as
a result of their differences of opinion.
Some of the results have forwarded our lives
and others haven't been so positive. In the end,
opinions feed the world, and it's good to have
different ones so that there can be perspective
and growth. However, it isn't so much the
opinion that matters as much as how we
interact with those of differing opinions.
The world is hurting now, and it is the interactions
that we have with each other that will ultimately save
or destroy us. And before you think me dramatic,
and even perhaps overly so, let me just say that
destruction comes in many forms - even if it is
"just" an email with a negative message.
I would dare say our interactions say a lot more
about us than our opinions do.
Last, but not least, might I be so bold as to suggest
that there be some consideration given to the idea
that perhaps we'd all benefit from respect of another's
perspective when communicating about our difference