Sunday, 21 August 2011

From Twitter to reality

I have been on twitter for over two years now and count myself very lucky to have many friends on there.
I do consider them as friends even though the likely hood of me meeting most of them is probably quite slim.
Over the past two years I have gradually let more of my inner self become visible, certainly through the blogs I write, I have opened up more and more about who I am and what my life is like, sometimes hard, sometimes quite lonely, sometimes busy with family and often humorous.

I have been lucky enough to meet a few of my friends from Twitter and have never regretted doing so.
This weekend I again had the chance to meet two more people that I talk to and consider friends and as before it went very well, we got on really well together, had some laughs and a couple of nice meals out.

The reason I am writing this is I asked Rhonda if I was as she expected, she seemed surprised by the question and said yes I was just as I am on Twitter and therefore exactly what she had expected.
This is what got me thinking, how many people on Twitter really are as they seem?

Am I being naive in believing that we are all as we appear? Or is it that I am who I am and therefore attract followers who are similar or interested in me and interesting to me?
I watch with interest at times silly petty squabbles that flare up on Twitter or more seriously bullying that takes place and wonder if I am just extremely lucky with my followers or is it the way you portray yourself that attracts the darker side of Twitter?
Could it be, and indeed is it preferable to keep your Twitter persona and your 'real life' persona separate?
To be two people must be hard but I have heard people say 'but Twitters not real, they are not real friends' but I would have to dispute that, to me my Twitter friends and my non twitter friends have the same status.
Is this wrong?

I am aware that not everyone is genuine and Twitter obviously attracts it's share of troubled souls and trouble makers but it heartens me that (so far) I have only come across people that ARE genuine friendly people that I am happy to have as friends on and off of Twitter. Am I unusual in that?


tinysuz said...

You are not alone in that Penny. I have never met any of my twitter friends except of course the obvious ones of my family. I consider the vast majority of my followers as friends and that is a good thing. I personally have not experienced any nastiness or bullying,you can always hit the block and unfollow buttons if you do.

Anonymous said...

No Penny you are not unusual at all, I agree with all of what you have written here, I think the sentence that says that you attract followers that are interested in you and are interesting, I think we know who we are going to gel with from the first couple of tweets. If you are naive then so am I!
Mind you you haven't met me yet haha xx

Ron Graves said...

That there are unpleasant people on Twitter is pretty much a given, it is, after all, holding a mirror up to real life, but the risk of encountering them really depends on how much you interact, especially with strangers, who can be unpredictable. Equally, of course, strangers can become friends.

The biggest problem is people who believe that only they are entitled to an opinion, and everyone else is wrong - I've blocked one of those.

And there was one guy who struck me as sexually creepy (and someone who met him in person confirmed it), and I was feeling that I might need to block him eventually, when he started tweeting football results! That was the last straw, so he was blocked too.

People who never contribute anything original, and just incessantly retweet might be unfollowed rather than blocked (though it does depend on the quality of the retweets).

Real, deep-seated, viciousness, though, tends to be the domain of the blog commenter. Some are clearly mentally ill, others simply stupid, with a hard core who are simply bad to the bone.

Within a couple of months of setting up my blog I had to establish my keyword filter, something every blogger should have if they value their blood-pressure and peace of mind - there are few things worse than being abused by someone you can't get at. The fruitcakes are very brave hiding behind their keyboards.

Don't run away with the idea that all commenters are like that, most are good people, but there is, at times, an undeniable proportion of nutters. Never, by the way, engage with them, just put whatever terms of abuse they use in your keyword filter, plus their email address if it looks real - yes, some are that dumb.

But Twitter? No, the worst are mainly just annoying, and if they become too annoying, there's the unfollow or block options. Except in exceptional circumstances, I prefer to unfollow.

deb aka murphthesurf said...

I haven't caught the twitter bug yet and probably I won't as I am not a big fan of cellphone use either. But I have met up with some people I met on support groups online and they were wonderful. I actually was so fortunate to met up with a wonderful soul in England years ago. And I also talk now by phone to several other members I met on this support group online. was over time and alot of posts that allowed me to get to know them and what type of people they were. Maybe twitter is the same but since i don't use I can't say. But for me, so far, things have worked out for finding true friends through the internet. With me though it took time for me to trust them enough to take the next step towards a face to face meeting.