….or how to keep your sanity in an increasingly insane atmosphere (in no specific order)
—- Figure out your own motivation for being on Twitter before you try to understand others: Why are you there? Is it because you have a lot to say and there isn’t anyone in your real life willing to indulge you? Is it because you have a cause to push? Is it because you lack companionship in your everyday life? Are you a fan of a band or a show and are looking for others who share your enthusiasm? Are you lonely? Are you vivacious? Do you just love to interact with people in any way you can?
You can’t understand the world around you until you understand yourself and even then it’s not easy to understand. Be honest with yourself and why you need Twitter as an outlet. Do you actually really NEED it, or is it just a bit of fun? That’s ok too. Actually, that’s what it should be anyway….fun!
—- Take out a dictionary and look up the word “Friend”: According to Merriam –Webster a friend is defined as –
One attracted to another by affection or esteem
One that is not hostile
One that is of the same nation, party or group
A favored companion
Personally, a friend to me is someone I can call at 2am when I’m stranded somewhere who will jump out of bed, without hesitation and come to my aid. If you can honestly say that about anyone you know on Twitter, that’s wonderful. Now, of course, most of the folks on Twitter live miles and miles away from each other and in many cases are in different countries. But if you know for a fact, if they had the capability to help you, they would, that’s awesome. But if you can’t say that, then what you have are acquaintances, fun people you are “friendly” with. Not friends. If you stop thinking about them as true friends you won’t be hurt when they “disappoint” you by not being what they never were in the first place.
—- Look in a mirror and say the most hurtful thing you can possibly think to say. Would you say that to someone else…..face to face? Would you have the guts to walk up to someone you know or even someone you don’t know (because do we honestly really KNOW anyone on Twitter?) and say something that hurtful to their face? No? Then don’t say it on Twitter! If you would say it to someone’s face…well…. those are issues far too complex to attempt to diagnose here!
—- If you were lucky enough to be on a red carpet somewhere, let’s say the Oscars or some movie premiere or something and were lucky enough to have one of the stars randomly stop by and shake your hand, maybe even take a picture, would you then automatically think you have a “connection” with that person? Of course not. If you do….well… that’s a totally different issue that, again, we won’t explore here. So, if an actor happens to answer one of your tweets that doesn’t mean you have a “connection” with them either. There are exceptions to this, of course. A rare occurrence where an actor makes a connection with a particular fan or group of fans but for the most part the optimum word here is….rare! Have fun. Tweet to your heart’s content. But don’t be crushed when you find out that you are one of said actors thousands of followers and he really doesn’t know you from Adam.
—- Be flexible: If you opened your closet and every pair of pants, every dress, shirt, pair of shoes were exactly the same you’d run screaming into the night like some bizarre Twilight Zone episode. There is truth to the adage that variety is the spice of life. It is also true with regard to opinions. Unless you are discussing 2 + 2 there is no right or wrong. There is only opinion. I feel like I have been fighting this battle since grade school when Sister Mary Catherine worded a test question with the starting words… “In your opinion…” then marked my answer wrong!
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You do not have to like it. You do not have to agree with it. You have every right to rebuttal. But you have no right to tell someone they are wrong, or that they are an idiot, or that they are simpleminded or any of the other awful things people say to each other when they disagree. Shut up and listen…you may actually learn something. Oh and you….on the other side of the argument….do the same!!! As Voltaire so perfectly stated “I do not agree with a word that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.
—- Do not be a pain in the ass: Yes, you have the right to your opinion and yes, you have the right to say whatever you want to say. It is a free country, after all. But bombarding people with your opinion and your arguments long after the discussion has ended is just annoying. Learn when a discussion has come to its natural conclusion and move on. Don’t worry sweetheart; a new argument is just around the corner to occupy your time.
—- Look out for yourself: There are toxic people out there….beware of them. But just like everyone isn’t allergic to cats or peanuts, what’s toxic for one person may not be to someone else. So watch your own back and don’t worry about others. Let them make their own decisions about who they associate with. No one can take care of you like you can. The same goes for them. Having two of your friends not like each other has nothing to do with you. It’s their problem, not yours. Keep yourself out of it for your own good and your own sanity. Same goes for anyone you feel is toxic to you. Just because someone else has no problem with that person doesn’t mean you have to deal with them. If they are toxic to you, or your peace of mind, that’s your decision alone…no one else’s. Distance yourself from the toxic person for your own good.
—- Know when it’s time to quit: Or slow down, or back off or just take a break. Relationships are complicated no matter on what level they exist. Everyone…..EVERYONE……has something about them that others don’t like. To be in a relationship, even one as trivial as on Twitter, you overlook that which is annoying in the other person because of what you get out of the relationship that is good. However, when a time comes and what’s good becomes hard to find…when what’s annoying is too overwhelming to ignore any longer, that’s the time to re-evaluate the situation. That’s why they invented the BLOCK option. It’s why people get un-followed. It’s why people take a Twitter break. None of these things are bad things. They are there to protect you, so you can renew, revitalize, refresh. Think of it as a vacation. Everything is still there when you decide it’s time to go back.
—- But, try to remember you do not really know the people on Twitter. You don’t know how they really feel or what is really going through anyone head at a particular moment. You only know what they choose to share and even then it is censored by the person posting. You don’t know the motivation for everything they do. You don’t know everything that is going on in their personal lives. So when a person decides to un-follow you it may not be about you. I know it’s hard to fathom but not everything is always about you. Maybe she just has issues going on at home and Twitter just doesn’t fit at the moment. Maybe her philosophy has changed. Maybe she’s at odds with someone else you’re connected to and you’re the bridge she’s burning. It doesn’t really matter. Don’t make yourself crazy over it. Just as you have to know when to back off and take a break for a while, so does everyone else.
So….that’s about it. A few simple things I use to keep myself sane on Twitter. Some may agree with what I say, some may think I’m just full of hot air. I just know it works for me because Twitter isn’t my be all and end all. It’s just a place to have a bit of fun. It’s not really important in the larger scheme of things.
How to keep your sanity in an increasingly insane Twitter atmosphere? Just keep repeating the same seven words to yourself……
IT’S NOT REAL LIFE…. IT’S ONLY TWITTER!