Thursday, September 15, 2011

Um So Like OK - Twitter Can Be Kinda Like High School But Then Not Really

I'll admit it, when I first joined Twitter as an educator, meaning to connect with other teachers and not stalk celebrities, I was terrified.  Thoughts of "Will they like me?" "Will they be  my friend" "Will they ask me to join the conversation?" haunted my days as I tried to maneuver through the Twitter world.  People just seemed to know each other, to have inside jokes, and ongoing conversations that just seemed, well, closed to people like me.

Flash back to the one year I did in an American high school, super geeky awkward me trying desperately to fit in with all the cool kids hoping that being foreign would at least give me some street cred.  Yeah not so much when you look like a boy with a penchant for hawaiian shirts and bowl cuts.  Fast forward to joining Twitter and terrible clich├ęs of standing in the lunch room holding my tray hoping someone would take pity over me and you can see where I am going with this blog post.

Except, I am not.  Twitter isn't like high school but it certainly would be convenient if it were.  If this were high school I could whine about people not talking to me or being unpopular because in high school it did really seem like it was out my control.  But on Twitter, not so much.

You see Twitter is what you make it.  If you want to join a conversation, jump in.  No one has to invite you, no one has to scoot over to make room for you, just start tweeting.    If you want to join a group, ask to join, no more initiation or introductions needed from a cool kid.  And if you can't find a group that fits you; start your own.

Twitter doesn't care if you are having a bad hair day, which I happen to have a lot of.  Twitter doesn't care if you have stains all over your shirt from your 2 year old daughter giving you hugs.  Twitter doesn't care who you are friends with or all the geeky obsessions you may have.  Twitter doesn't care.  And neither do the people you connect with, except perhaps in a good way.

So from this awkward ex teen to the next, don't be fooled into thinking that Twitter is like high school.  That is just too easy to say.  Instead jump in, sit down to someone and start a conversation and be patient.  We are all just trying to help each other out.


photomatt7 said...

By and large I agree, but there are some people - and I don't mean politicians or celebs - who don't respond when contacted. I try not to fall into that because I feel if someone is contacting me, I owe them at the bare minimum a response.

But take someone like Diane Ravitch, who often RTs what people send her and has responded to my questions or comments several times. She is a busy, important person, a real mover and shaker, who makes time to be interested in others. But then there are those teachers/principals/other educators who think certain people are not worth replying to. Can't understand.

Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

Matt, I think you answer your own question/statement, some people are just really busy. But yes, there are some who don't answer and then you move on rather than let them bring you down. In high school we would sit and wallow why these people weren't talking to us, now we just let it go.

Heidi Siwak said...

Hi Pernille,
Well put; jump in, join the conversation!
I like the look of your blog by the way.


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