Noticing the recent change in behaviors in people whom I’ve known over the years, I felt compelled to finally vent my views on this without judgement and what better place to do it than tumblr because I’m too lazy to have a personal blog and I’m not paying for one. Just saying.
My grandmother who recently passed away in April warned me that everyone is not your friend, many of them will not see me into my latter years either. She continued by saying we will have grown apart or they will pass away right before my very own eyes. Well, the former definitely came true. But it’s coming true at a faster rate because of a somewhat new phenomena called Twitter. Yes, Twitter. Twitter is a place where you can express yourself, make up an online identity, promote your blog, music or in some cases your body parts and sex lives. Twitter give people a platform where they can do and say things with very little consequence, celebrity and non-celebrity alike. Who you follow allows there to be a check and balance in content which is why it’s important to have as diverse of a timeline as possible.
The problem with Twitter, friendships and even associations is that people commonly use Twitter to form friendships and cliques much easier. Why is this a problem? Friends are generally people you’ve known for long periods of times, people you’d trust with money, around your man/woman/partner. Someone you have a longstanding history with that has stood the test of time aka someone you know. It’s very difficult to “know” someone in 140 characters at a time so the possibility of disappointment is much greater via Twitter than actually taking the steps to develop a friendship/bond via the ways of the old. Yes, before technology and through things like college, meeting through mutual friends. (Sad thing as it’s been pointed out, most people on Twitter have never seen the inside of a university and may have only graduated high school by the skin of their teeth) but that’s besides the point. The point is, people expect the person you are on Twitter upon meeting you.
I remember going to Atlanta Gay Pride in 2010 and there being a somewhat disappointment because I was exactly the person that I represent through my countless tweets. I was one less phony person on the list to them and now one can see why first impressions matter. I have to admit, I too was on the hunt to see who was just a Twitter personality and who was who they say they are, why?, Because I was still new to Twitter and my curiosity was burning a hole through my mind. Some turned out to be flakes and fraudulent and others turned out to be really cool associations.
Fast forward to 2011. I am one by one losing associations and friendships based off my tweets, who I decide to follow and who I decide to retweet. I didn’t know Twitter dictated who one can be friends with, who one can follow and can’t follow. I also didn’t realize Twitter affected friendships, associations and relationships that were around before Twitter. People are now hooking up and breaking up via Twitter. People have gone from friends to enemies and cliques have turned into mean girls. I slowly but surely find myself not enjoying the Twitter experience as much as I did when I joined back in May of 2009 just as I was actually beginning to enjoy tweeting because I stopped letting things offend me is when I realized how undeniably stupid many people on Twitter are.
The most insulting part of losing pre-Twitter friendships and associations because of Twitter is none of them thought to call me even though they had my number, None of them thought to Skype me even though they have my Skype address to tell me “Ya know, I have a problem with your tweets and here is why. I think you should…”. Instead without warning, I was getting ignored, being given the coldest of shoulders and haven’t been able to understand why.
Someone who I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know expressed that anyone who dissolves a friendships simply off of tweets, should have never been in my life in the first place. I don’t use Twitter to promote an internet personality, I use it as an extension of who I am as a person and to be upset with that, is to be upset with who I am down to the core and maybe that person being upset has more to do them than it has to do with me. With that said, it does not give the authority to be rude to me off of Twitter either.
In my honest and humble opinion, I feel that part of my appeal is that I’m comedic, dramatic, over the top, supportive, loving and caring with those flaws I am also dramatic and over the top, pessimistic about my current love state of my life and simply I don’t trust everyone. I don’t let cliques define my personality, I don’t let other people dictate who my friendships or my relationships.
People are quick to say “it’s just Twitter”, but ask yourself this “Is it still Twitter when there is no Twitter”? These are people behind these @’s and we need to do better at communicating in our offline connections like we do during our time online. Start picking up the phone and connecting with people, Skype, get off the computer, step away from the mobile and go out and reintroduce yourselves to your friends and associates because it will be pretty darn petty of YOU if someone asks how come you and this person don’t talk and your response is “…it was something he said on Twitter”. That alone deserves a blank stare as for Twitter is not a justification. People have simply grown increasingly flighty and it’s quite sad actually. In the end, I’m still going to be the same ole me and if that bothers you just know that in the end, I still win. I’ll be fine with or without you.
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