Looking Back, Pt. 1: Observations From A Twitter Novice

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend with friends and family.

As I take some time to reflect this weekend I look forward to discussing my appreciation for our military and their families in a post on Monday, but for today I’d like to take a brief look back on my twitter experience and express gratitude.

When I first started utilizing twitter almost 7 months ago, I was not exactly sure how I might utilize it.  I have utilized other forms of social media, though in a more passive way (e.g. to congratulate friends on their many achievements).

I have been quite fortunate to learn from many brilliant folks during my time on twitter, and I am greatly appreciative for that.

Although I also look forward to discussing other aspects of twitter that have been extremely enjoyable to me, I want to take this opportunity to explain why I do my best to express my gratitude in tweets to those folks who are kind enough to share their thoughts and wisdom.

I finished reading a wonderful book this morning (I plan to discuss that book in a future post dedicated to the lessons I learned from it), and an issue from one particular story resonated with me when it came to considering my twitter experience.

Often on twitter, I’ve noticed that some folks express their distaste with other tweeters’ comments.  As a strong believer in a robust interpretation of the 1st Amendment, I surely believe that folks have the right to express that distaste.

However, those sentiments don’t necessarily need to be expressed in a harsh fashion.  I am not sure why people would attack others for their thoughts rather than having a discussion as to why they might disagree.

In fact, perhaps after a discussion, the tweeters may realize they agree on a lot more than they might originally think.

Regardless, for folks who are brave enough to share their thoughts on a public forum, it would be pleasant to see observers who would like to express disagreement with those thoughts to do so in a subject-based fashion, rather than personally attacking the sharer.

Moreover, and this issue is covered in the book I finished this morning which is what led me to think to write this particular post first regarding twitter, I am interested as to why more people don’t share their thanks with a person with whom they are appreciative or in agreement with the tweeters’ sentiment.

I realize there is the ability to favorite or retweet a tweet that one likes (and I’m sure those are appreciated by all who get them as well), but speaking from personal experience (because I am not in a position to speak for anyone else), I am particularly touched when someone takes the time to send me a tweet sharing his/her viewpoint (even if disagreeing – I find the feedback quite useful).

Some of the most helpful and encouraging feedback I’ve received regarding my writing, tax reform ideas, etc. have come from some of the generous folks on twitter.

But this post is not meant to refer to a novice tweeter like myself.  I know many people who utilize twitter as a news source, because of its top-notch ability to provide current news almost immediately.  That news comes from some of the world’s top journalists and information providers.  Moreover, many brilliant folks share (for free) lots of great research, insights, etc.

Accordingly, I do my best to thank those tweeters for being kind enough to think about others to the point of taking the time to package and share that information with fellow twitter users.  I do my best not to jam feeds, and I apologize if my responses or questions ever do so, but I do think it is often helpful to comment in some fashion, not only to show an appropriate level of appreciation, but to also let the information provider know that his/her thoughts and insights are extremely useful.

In summation, I’d like to thank all of the wonderful tweeters who provide interesting information all day, every day to novices like myself.  I greatly appreciate it, and my experience is that many other folks (even if they don’t express it with favorites, retweets, DMs, reply tweets, etc.) appreciate it too.