#Confessions: I’m back on the twitter

My not-so-secret return to the twitter world. And the why’s behind it. A social media story.

2008   I started using Facebook and Twitter sometime in 2008. When my parents’ separated, mum and I moved to Maryland. Social media became a valuable tool. It allowed me to hold onto all the people I was leaving behind, if only virtually.

I was leaving behind the people I had grown up with, the people I would’ve graduated high school with. I was grateful for the social media medium. As I would move once more, six months later, the friends accumulated. When we “settled” in Washington, DC, something began to happen. Something inside of me had waken up, and it was the urge to scold people for posting the things they did.
I’ve learned that my personality is that of a kindergarten professor—something my biology peers pointed out this semester after comments like this:

Claudia before a test: “Hey, use your inside voice…. your inside-your-head voice then.”

Claudia during lab: “Alright everyone, let’s take a field trip to that table over there. Everyone huddle around. What do we see?”

Indeed, I may have the intellect of a scholar, but the mind of a child who thinks stealing crayons is a crime, and saying the “stupid” word will… take off gold stars from the good-kid chart.

So, yeah, I was offended at finding out my gal (and a few guy) friends didn’t respect themselves enough to keep clothed on a Facebook picture. I was confounded at how a young woman would think that posting in-the-moment kisses with her “boo” was classy—and no, it’s not like they were all taking wedding pictures! And yeah, I was offended to find the dirty thoughts people were spilling over my tidy Twitter timeline, and that my sweet friends, weren’t so sweet either. Obviously, I’ve never befriended actual angels, but you would think people would be bright enough to recognize that not everyone is willingly to hear your evil plots, or put up with the potty mouth you randomly developed.

mid-2011   Rather than complaining about how people were losing sight of themselves (and reality), I started to un-follow and un-friend. It was an awful, painful spree. At some point, I realized that at the rate I was going, I would have nothing to read from my timelines. And the social media peeves were growing.

I couldn’t take all the disclosure going on around me. Perhaps it stems from the fact that I’m an introvert. I’m stingy with what I reveal about myself. I act this way because if something has to be said, it will come in its due time—not a #confessions trend. I don’t believe that the majority of people nagging about privacy understand the concept of self-disclosure. If you respect your private life, you would be wise to leave it off the Internet. The mind works in silence because the world is already booming with noise. Our ability to keep to ourselves is a divine gift. Why would you want to blast in full volume the only space you have that’s all yours to claim?

Don’t get me wrong, I love venting as much as the next crazie, and it helps to know we’re not alone in our thoughts. Nevertheless, there’s a problem when you don’t know how to keep your mouth shut for your own  convenience, or when to keep your iPhone pictures to your self. I also don’t think it would kill you all to use some proper punctuation and spelling.

And so, Claudia turned her back on social media (except you WordPress, you’re a wonderful exception). Already living in Virginia again, things seemed to be falling into place. She packed her bags and started her first year of college without the twitter and the facebook. And she was free, I tell you.

December 2012   This semester I took a student college success course (required at my current college), and my professor put a heavy emphasis on our resumes. After several tweaks, it hit me that my resume wasn’t accurate… anymore.

I couldn’t say I was internet savvy when I was safely away from missing out on social media. By this point, I had also relocated myself in the WordPress world, starting this blog. It occurred to me that a blog would benefit from a connection to social media (I know! Where would I get such a crazy idea?).

And it was then I took a leap of faith. I decided to go with Twitter, where I was less likely to come across self-disclosure disappointments. Or rather, where I could start from scratch and wisely choose who to follow. I don’t typically stalk people in real life, so how do you choose whose tweeting to tag along to? A certain post, Reading the Unexpected, provided me some insight. Following individuals is a point which sounds obvious, but people don’t do it enough, or they do it wrong.

I’ve come to the conclusion: Even when you follow people with similar interests, you will come across posts that you wouldn’t have read otherwise. The same thing happens with people. You come across people you automatically like, and then realize s/he is not so perfect. This is no reason to run away. You embrace physical diversity. You embrace mental diversity.

Even so, it helps if you follow a couple of intellectuals, whether goofs or scholars, knowing that you have a say in what pops up in your timeline.

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