Archive for May, 2009
So here’s my thought on Twitter self-promotion: it makes me feel contradictory, cynical and manipulative. Because they are expressions of my life, my work, and my passions, my blog, Facebook and Linked In, are wonderful tools that I have no issue exploiting. However, when it comes to Twitter, I honestly do not see any purpose to it, other than that it places me and countless other peoples in need of attention, in the inferior position of selling ourselves for a mere 2 seconds of fame.
And not even that. I’ve been on it for about a week now, and have arrived at this meaningless conclusion: most people on there don’t have a thought they want to express as much as a need to attract followers. In a way, it’s kind of like infantilizing ourselves because of a need to be popular. I find it difficult to maintain my dignity while I post and try to attract followers interested in what I have to say. I feel conspicuous, ridiculous and desperate.
I’ve been told to give it time, that it will grow on me, that I’ll see it’s benefits soon enough. I know I don’t have the patience and the time to waste in making meaningless connections with people who keep re-tweeting breaking news. I’m interested in thoughts, stories, ideas. Originality. Something that stops my racing mind in its tracks in order to explore something new, something it hadn’t considered. Quotes by dead, white men do not count.
I saw the saddest thing today while out to coffee with my husband, and it truly broke my heart. There is this woman in my neighborhood, elegant, refined, of a certain age and she was at the coffee shop too, yet instead of coffee she was drinking first a glass of wine and then a beer, all the while crying silently and looking out the window. I didn’t know what to do. My instinct was to go and wrap my arms around her shoulders, my common sense said to ignore it. And so I did nothing. I told myself I was sparing her dignity a blow. But was I really? In hindsight I realize I should have reached out. One human to another. One woman to another.
I can’t help but feel ashamed of myself for failing at such a simple human response. I pride myself on my compassion, but where is it when it’s really needed? It’s a cowardly sort of compassion at best. Hiding behind ‘what ifs.’ The real reason I didn’t go was because I didn’t want to embarrass myself were she to turn on me and tell me to mind my own business. It was my pride that didn’t want to risk a blow. You see, I frequent that coffee shop daily. I have a certain image to uphold. I’m the woman with the cute kids that always orders the same thing and tips well. I don’t make conversation other than with my kids and the people behind the counter. I smile and nod at the other regulars, but it’s a tight-lipped sort of smile meant to discourage any attempt at starting a conversation.
When had I become such a snob? Why am I bent on portraying myself in a certain false light that has nothing to do with the real me? With what I really feel inside? I have all these pretentions, all this contempt for superficiality, yet I myself am a very superficial person.
That’s it for today. The more I think about it, the more ashamed I am of my spineless reaction. I pray that woman is all right. I don’t know where she lives, but I am going to that coffee shop tomorrow and if I see her, I will go and say hello and ask if I may join her while I drink my coffee.