Navigating Through Twitter

twitterI’ve been on Twitter for around three years and have had this blog for just over a year. I’ve tweeted and even posted some thoughts regarding Twitter, dealing with Trolls and Cyber Bullying. Recently I’ve decided to focus my blog on politics and most importantly getting people motivated to get themselves and others registered to and out to vote during this upcoming midterm cycle. This blog post will hopefully be the last exception to my self-imposed rule, at least until I change the rules again. The nice thing about having your own blog, you can make up your own rules.

Now my Twitter account is focused on politics, though I do tend to throw in random thoughts regarding a host of other issues, personal views, personal tragedies, links to comedy bits and music, and my own sense of dry humor and snark. Over the past few years I’ve gone through a whole host of experiences and emotions regarding Twitter. I’ve made some great friends, I’ve made some enemies and I’ve been betrayed by some. The thing is, that’s life. It’s finally dawned on me what they mean by “Social Media.” Twitter is life in multiple 140 character posts. The only difference from Twitter and traditional living is you can have some degree of anonymity to say things that you may not want revealed to people you associate and work with. It’s an opportunity to live outside yourself and hopefully not be held to account for your views, thoughts, etc from those who can make your real life very miserable.

Sadly, events of the past several months have also shown me that this ability is easier said than done. None-the-less, if you chose as I have to remain on Twitter, you have to accept that regardless of what you do to protect your anonymity; you will be found out so you may want to be careful about what you say. If you don’t want to be so careful, you have to accept the consequences that could come from posting your views or involving yourself with others on Twitter.

Depending on whom you are, what your interests are and what you are willing to express about yourself, you have a multitude of Twitter accounts to follow. Twitter is made up of those who simply Tweet about themselves and their personal lives and happenings. These are the nicest, least threatening folks around in this medium. Then you have those who use Twitter to set up business interests over business issues. Attorneys hooking up with other legal professionals. Engineers hooking up with other Engineers. Actors and Actresses hooking up with others. And there are those who Tweet along the lines of the, let us say “Adult” interests. You get the point.

As for myself and the majority of those who follow me and I follow back, my interest over time has focused on politics, namely Progressive Politics and how it relates to Conservative Politics. Now of course there are those who see themselves as “Conservatives” and their focus on Twitter is the counterpart to mine. Now regardless of your Twitter focus, there are some out there who have, or will have, or may continuously have the penchant to get very personal about their views and air their personal problems with others on Twitter for all to read on their Timelines. There really isn’t any rule against that, there appears to be very few rules in the TOS of Twitter outside of making physical threats or spamming.

Some have no problems reading these tweets. Some take sides and join in. That’s all well and good. However, if you don’t want to get involved in that sort of thing, the best way to avoid being drawn into it is to simply not get involved. You may feel anger at how one of your friends is treated, harassed, d0xed, etc on Twitter and you feel a natural urge to respond in defense. There is nothing wrong with that. The problem is, if it continues, if your entire TimeLine is focused on a turf war regarding personal views and slights of others, you detract from whatever main agenda you want to participate in on Twitter.

Nice thing about Twitter is you have the ability to follow or unfollow whoever you want. You can block whoever you want, you can read the Timelines of anyone you want (provided you’re not blocked) and simply just not get involved. You can also show moral support for whoever you want either in the open or in DM’s.

I tried to play peace keeper in a Twitter battle some months back and it came back on me and soured my whole perspective of Twitter. It dragged me away from writing about my interests and for a short while, made me the focus of attack from people I knew and thought I could trust as well as people I had no idea existed, nor did they know me. I also found friends I thought I never had showing me support. After going through this for a few weeks I decided to simply not tweet anything regarding this still ongoing Twitter feud.  It still goes on; I still follow the Timelines of those who haven’t since blocked me. I do so because many still tweet messages of a progressive nature that I see as important and I will retweet them on my Timeline to get them out to my followers. I have retweeted progressive messages from people on opposite sides of the feud. I’m more concern about getting the progressive message out rather than perpetuate a feud. I’m not going to counsel anyone on how to or what to tweet, especially if the matter is of personal interest to them. That’s not mine or anyone else’s call.

I will still defend those I feel need defending. Not from others in Twitter but from those who use the tweets of those people against them. I’m of course speaking about what happened to @DeniseRomano, otherwise known as Vox and @PrisonForBush. Their tweets were used against them by the Texas Department of Public Safety in an investigation. I saw that as uncalled for. Many joined in to defend them. What I found interesting and inspiring was that among those who spoke in a single voice defending Denise, were those who have been battling each other on Twitter these past several months. Both sides of this feud agreed that Denise was to be defended and protected. It gave me hope that maybe, just maybe things would ease between the two sides. To some degree it has, but it still continues.

As with real life, you can involve yourself with any group, person, ideology, subject matter you want on Twitter. You can be as involved as you want or be as much of a spectator as you want. Only thing to remember, if you’re out there, expect to be drawn in and decide how much you want to get involved. Also, your privacy is in no way secured from anyone. That idiot 18 year old kid in California who ran down and killed a 54 year old woman cyclist in California knows this now. California used his tweets to show just how much he liked to speed on the road and are using his Tweets to increase the charges against him. In this particular case, I say “GOOD”.

Controversy does gain you more followers and notoriety. For those who want that, be as controversial as you want. Those like me just want to get the word out that I think we all need to be involved in the political process before its too late. I don’t have the high number of followers on Twitter or readers of this blog as others, but at least I can tell myself I’m giving it a try and I have nothing to apologize for.

I have followers/friends on Twitter for whom I’m grateful for. I have other followers who just monitor what I tweet for whatever reason possesses them. Three years on Twitter has taught me not to get personal with others for personal reasons. If they insult or attack me, I’ll just ignore and block. If I have nothing nice or constructive to say about them on a personal basis, I won’t tweet anything at all. My focus on Twitter is politics and how people’s political views and agendas impact others. For that, I will comment on and get as snarky as I damn well please. Politicians are fair game since that is what they sign-up for by getting into politics.

Private Citizens don’t deserve to be attacked by me and I won’t do that anymore in the Twitterverse or this blog. It’s simply not worth it in my opinion. But that’s just my opinion.

Now back to Politics. Thank you for reading.