Coaching Blog 38: Twitter’s a Lonely Place

 

I’m not cut out for Twitter. I need people to acknowledge I’ve spoken and I hate being thought of as rude for not replying when someone has spoken to me – but I can’t hang around waiting for someone to tweet a response and (let’s be honest) I have a life.

Also, if truth be told, it’s making me a bit obsessive. ‘I’ve followed you for ages …. Why aren’t you following me back ?’ ‘If I unfollow you late at night, is there a chance you won’t notice what I’ve done ?’ Is there a ‘good’ follow to follower ratio and do I look sad and pathetic because I’m following more people than are following me ? And – horror of horrors – ‘you were following me, but now you’ve unfollowed …. was it something I tweeted (or didn’t tweet) ?’

It’s a social networking minefield.

A while ago I was followed by someone who worked in a department I managed several years ago – I was a senior manager and so she hated me. I know that sounds flippant, but I was battling sickness absence levels that suggested terminal illness, yet somehow the individuals concerned were able to return to work to complete overtime (at double pay); stationery and cleaning materials were over-ordered and the surplus given to family and friends; expenses were being submitted in pencil until I refused to sign them and the numbers of turkeys ordered for a Christmas meal in two hostels equated to one per service user (and the surplus again sold to family and friends).

Throughout all of this I was referred to as ‘the management’ and spoken of in terms that Robert Mugabe would find flattering, I was hated.

So, sucker that I am, I was really pleased to find the virtual hatchet had been buried and she was following me. Two days later she unfollowed me and I was gobsmacked (I know …… I’m a nice person ……. What was she thinking ?)

Now this is where it pays to practice a bit of reflective thinking. It’s sad, but after thinking about her (on and off) for a week I realised I would have to get over myself and accept that she could only act on what she believed of me several years ago.

I believe I am – and was – a nice person, who made difficult (but ultimately right) decisions in the face of full information; she believes I’m a bad person, based on her limited knowledge of the situation.

Twitter doesn’t’ really allow for that level of introspection. It’s a fast paced ‘look at me medium’ that seems to be full of a lot of people trying to sell stuff; a few funny and informative people giving updates on what they’re doing; an awful lot of interesting and thought provoking chatter and a few quite strange conspiracy theorists that need to get a partner and get out more.

It’s not the place for the thin-skinned to take residency, as 140 characters really isn’t enough space to explain yourself.

 

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2 Responses to Coaching Blog 38: Twitter’s a Lonely Place

  1. Linda Williams says:

    Paulette
    Loved the blog about Twitter and networking! I have been trying to get to grips with both (plus linkedin) because everyone (except my self employed husband) tells me ‘thats the way to do it’ and after 3 months found myself obsessed by it all.

    You are the second voice of sanity I have come across in the last week and it has helped me restore balance.
    Thanks

  2. Donovan says:

    Absolutely.

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