Thursday, September 15, 2011

...and that's why I'm a Twit

(as in some fool who likes to tweet on Twitter, not an upper-crust British nitwit a la Monty Python.)

Hello, my name is Varda and I am a Twitter addict.

OK, I've been cutting down some lately, as I have recognized that it can get in the way of, well, that (highly over-rated) "real life" stuff. When your son complains that you "Love your computer more than you love us!" you know it's time to scale back a wee bit.

A year and a half ago I didn't know even know what Twitter was. Well, I mean I'd heard of it, but hadn't given it much thought other than as that "wacky thing" some folks do.

Now I can't imagine how I wasted my time before Twitter. It's so efficient, so effective at sucking all the "spare time" out of my day.

But also, truth to tell, useful.

Sometimes I just want to shout into the cave and hear a voice back that is other than my own, echoing. Sometimes I have important things to say to the universe (well, to the approximately 1800 souls in it who follow me, that is), while other times I just want to share my momentary thoughts with at least the illusion that someone is listening.

Like today.

I was sitting in the car waiting for the clock to strike 11 so I could leave (following the arcane rules of the NYC Alternate Side Shuffle... if you live here -- and especially if you own and street-park a car - you understand; and if you don't, be glad you don't have to) my brain just bouncing around in the void.

So I sent out this tweet:

And got this back:

And that's it. Just what I needed. To know I'm not alone.

And then when I got home (car legal, good 'til Monday at 9:30), just checking in, I read this:

and decided to click on over to read her post. It was about aggravation vs. thankfulness and contained this poster:

A timely reminder if ever there was one, as I have been uber-cranky lately. Forgetting to feel grateful. Forgetting all that I am always hammering home to Ethan the complainer, reminding him how lucky he is.

I can hear my own voice yakking away at him, telling him: "The key to happiness is not how MUCH you have but how GRATEFUL you are for whatever you do have" in response to his whining for this or that toy he has seen advertised on TV and MUST HAVE or he will be miserable forever.

I remember when he was little, maybe four, and was being all fussy about his clothes, wanting to wear a very specific something that was dirty in the hamper, declaring every other possible item terrible, I just lost it with him. I was yelling about how spoiled he is, about how in so much of the world kids have only one or two sets of clothing that they own and THAT IS IT. And if they want them clean they have to wash them by hand, every day, maybe even in a river miles from home.

And he got a quivering lip and I thought "OK, maybe I'm laying it on a little thick" but he then said to me with so much compassion: "Oh, Mommy, that is just SO sad. Can I send them some of my clothes?"

And we hugged for a bit, and talked about what we could do to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

And that sweet memory of my son, and remembering to be grateful for all that I have in my life? Thanks to Twitter and the random moment I popped on to read.

That's one of the things I love about it, how it increases the serendipity quotient in my life.

Other things I love: That it is teaching me brevity, how to be more concise, I, who am so in love with words, who easily earns my reputation as "Queen of the run on sentence (with parenthetic clauses)". But Twitter? 140 characters, baby, or you're toast.

Also, I am by nature an eavesdropper, and Twitter was MADE for that, I can listen in on other people's conversations all day to my heart's content, no one the wiser.

I would like to call myself the Queen of Twitter, but really I'm not. I go through phases, I'm in and out. Sometimes I just read and lurk a lot. Mostly that's fun (see above paragraph) but other days I'm feeling down, vulnerable. And then I feel all left out, wonder why no one is @ing me. (Duh, dorkus, you have to jump into the conversation and @ others to be included, REMEMBER?)

The real Queen of Twitter right now (in my humble opinion) is, quite fittingly, my friend Alexandra aka The Empress who tweets as @GDRPempress and writes the blog Good Day, Regular People. She was on of my two wonderful BlogHer11 roommates, and it would be hard to find a lovelier, more gracious woman on all the planet, let alone the interwebs.

Any delightful or vital conversation going on - there she is! She re-tweets like crazy, offers tweets of support and encouragement constantly. Her stream looks like this, all day long: 

Also Alexandra is first on the spot with important messages and alerts. (And yes, it was she who clued me in to Anna See's tragic loss of her son last week.)

So if you're looking to pick up ONE new follow on Twitter - make it Alexandra. (After ME, of course. Do follow me, please! @Squashedmom, of course.)

So yes, when it's not leading me to fritter away my time, I can truly say that Twitter has embiggened my life (is TOO a word, coined on the Simpsons).

So that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm (proud to be) a Twit.

(And you can Tweet me, and we can talk all about it, or anything else you want to, in 140 character bursts.)

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