Just me and the Twitterverse

by flowers on February 22, 2010 · 9 comments

On Friday night I went to my first ever Tweetup.

I’ll be honest and tell you I had to shake off a few butterflies as I stepped out of the internet waters and built a bridge into real life, but I’m very glad I did it. It felt like an important step for me personally and professionally.

I’ve been using Twitter for about a year and have built a seriously amazing network of folks. My tribe is a mixed group of birth junkies, social media geeks, uber cool moms, environmentalists, holistic health tweeps, hopeless romantics, rabble rousers and general do-gooders.

Why read the newspaper when I can interpret the news from real live people and their perceptions rather than the mostly corporate owned media we’re inundated by today? I can honestly say that I’ve stayed up to date with current events via the Twitterverse (and the blogosphere!) all without newspaper subscriptions or cable television. It’s just me and 6 million folks linking the world together one tweet at a time.

In a few painstakingly characters (only 140 to be exact) I can get tech help for my web projects, find out remedies for any ailments, or be inspired for dinner. You ask a question and within minutes you have suggested links to all over the web. Twitter has been a mind-expanding, life altering experience all together.

Okay, enough Twitter gushing– about six months ago I started networking more locally on Twitter due to my volunteer work with my local BirthNet and our FreeOurMidwives project. As a result I’ve hooked into a more local tweeting scene which led to my invitation to Ithaca’s first tweetup. I convinced a friend (@birthwaysdoulas) to come with me so I didn’t have to fly solo and it turned out to be an a well needed Friday night out of the house.

I should have brought Stone and the kids, but I wanted to dip my toes in the water solo and check things out. (And besides bringing koala anywhere public or nice at this point is usually more work than fun.) It was a family friendly event and very encouraging to see community building in the works. I’ve heard the complaint that modern technology cuts us off from the real world, but I’ve actually found the opposite to be true.

At a recent social media class I took for small businesses and organizations the teacher shared his vision of technology as being neutral and I found myself nodding with enthusiastic agreement. Technology is, what it is, and it is up to us to interpret and use it to meet our desires and needs. You can take what you value and use modern media and technology to enhance it.

It’s what I’ve spent my past year doing with this blog, my Twitter community and my professional undercover project. My learning curve has hit warp speed and as long as I continue to seek balance and return to center I’m glad for the expansion. It’s exciting and exhilarating and yes, sometimes overwhelming. But then feeling overwhelmed is the perfect note to self that it’s time to unplug and ground in some real life interaction.

I’d love to know many of you are you on Twitter? Leave your username in the comments so we can connect and tell me about your experience with social media thus far. How does it enhance your life? What about it challenges you? I find it all very fascinating.

(Dang I wish I had taken my camera to the tweetup. It was a gorgeous venue and a wake-up call that I haven’t been taking enough pictures lately. I made up for it the rest of the weekend and can’t wait to share.)

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

exhale. return to center. February 22, 2010 at 8:13 am

love this hil.

i’ve had a twitter account for over a year but only started really using it about 2 months ago (after a kind friend explained how to use it in words that i could understand) and i am totally loving it!!!

oh and i’m @ebgoodman

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Amber February 22, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I love Twitter. I was listening to an older journalist being interviewed today, and she said, “Eventually you grow up and become an adult and don’t want to read news on Twitter.” Eep! Also, I think, an indication that she doesn’t really understand Twitter. There is pretty much no better place to find out what’s going on and what people are thinking about, or to connect with like-minded individuals.

I am @AmberStrocel. :)
.-= Amber´s last blog ..Toddlers are Hooligans =-.

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flowers February 22, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Eeeep is right! I took that class I mentioned (and plan on writing more about it) and mostly it was filled with older business people who felt like they *had to learn this stuff. Facebook they were okay with, but Twitter was like a paradigm shift for them. We spent most of the time on the theory and understanding it rather than on how to actually use it (or just basic user stuff).

And that’s just it–it is paradigm shifting. It’s that whole “I don’t want to change” mentality, or in other words, “what doesn’t bend breaks.” This stuff is here to stay. I find it fascinating.

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Jess February 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Hi Hillary, I’ve had a twitter account for a while and I like reading all of the different info on there. I would probably tweet more if I could just find a way to add more hours to my day:) I’m @tranquilliberty

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flowers February 22, 2010 at 10:56 pm

I hear you-I feel like Twitter has taken the idea of multi-tasking to to the limit. I usually open tweet deck or hoot suite in the background while I check emails and such. I also use it to take little breaks when I’m working.

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Rana February 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm

I started a Twitter account back over the summer, but I need a tweetorial to figure out what the heck I’m doing. Your right things are changing and if you don’t at least look into it you could be left behind.
.-= Rana´s last blog ..Life Lesson # 255 : Stranger Danger =-.

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flowers February 22, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Rana what is your username on Twitter?

I just took an intro level class in my community and it was so well worth it. Just the little tricks you learn to make your life easier.

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Kate February 22, 2010 at 7:37 pm

You know I’m on Twitter ~ I think you were my first follower! And I KNOW you were the first person to recommend me on Follow Fridays! :) I haven’t mastered it quite yet, but have definitely found that the more time I spend there the beneficial it is. That is actually where I found The Song Fairy for my site!!

You’re a wealth of knowledge, my dear friend!!
.-= Kate´s last blog ..My Everyday Magic 2/22/2010 =-.

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flowers February 22, 2010 at 10:57 pm

I loved the day you showed up in the Twitterverse my sweet friend :)

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