I’m all aTwitter

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On the advice and encouragement of the most brilliant woman in the world I know, Anne, (honestly, we should all be very grateful that she isn’t on the side of evil), I joined Twitter last week.  First, with Anne’s guidance, I installed something called TweetDeck, so I could continue to expand what has become a notable and illustrious career wasting time on the internet social networking.  Once TweetDeck was installed, I began the registration process for my very own ChloeoftheMountain Twitter account.

Along with all the good niches in the world already being taken, the world is rapidly running out of good usernames. Before long there won’t be any good ones left.  Since ChloeoftheMountain had too many characters,Twitter automatically shortened it to ChloeoftheMount.  At first I kept it because I thought it gave the aura of someone wise.  You know.  Chloe on a Mount dispensing wiseness?  But when I saw it a day later, it struck me that “mount” isn’t really a word I want in my username.  So back to Twitter I went to find a new username.

I quickly found that all good machinations of Chloe were already taken.  Twitter, intuitiively realizing that I couldn’t figure out a unique name all by myself, started offering me up ideas.  You know it is bad when they start suggesting numbers.  That means not only one person got there first, but lots of people did.  Twitter gave me a couple of options and it was looking like I was going to have to choose between MountChloe or ChloeMountain758.


Not good.  Not if your readers consider you a niche unto yourself.  You can’t really be a niche unto yourself if there are 757 others just like you.  And MountChloe?  I think we can all agree that with yesterday’s admission, that wouldn’t be a very good idea.

Crap.  I was going to have to be creative.  Aren’t we getting close yet to the end of all there is to create in the world?  Didn’t Solomon tell us several thousand years ago that there was nothing new in this world?  He obviously never had to sign up for Twitter having to choose between Solomon59483 and SexyKing57 for his username.

I stepped away.  This was going to take some thought.  I had a drink.  I had two.  (Just for the record, the drinks were tea.  My creative juices are mostly made of tea.) Then I had a thought. Miracle, upon miracles, my idea wasn’t taken.  I grabbed it and, before I could congratulate myself on my witty creativity and ballsy initiative, I was confronted with the next Twitter Challenge, the Bio, where you have to describe yourself in 160 characters or less. Tweets are limited to 140 characters, but Twitter generously gives you 20 additional characters to tell the world who you are.

I realize that this Bio is important because the other children Tweeters are going to decide whether to choose me for the kickball team to follow me on Twitter based on whether or not they resonate with my Bio. Suddenly, I’m sick to my stomach and praying that, just this once, the popular people will choose me before the girl wearing the headgear.  Oh wait, that’s a flashback to my childhood.  Oh well.  Same thing.

Every social insecurity I have rears it ugly head.  I comfort myself that it doesn’t really matter that much.  I tell myself,  “Just put in anything.”  But everything seems loaded.  Every word that I can think to describe me–woman, registered nurse, women’s issues, mother, middle aged, menopausal, mother, former homeschooler, wife, writer, woman-who-likes-sex–it all becomes like a Rorschach test for all my hang-ups. Every word a box I’m not sure I want to fit in.  I don’t know what to put, but I have to put something because I do some quick google research and I find out that the only thing worse than putting the wrong thing in your Bio is putting nothing.  I put something.  I figure I can evolve my Bio page with time, so I come up with something (which I’ve already changed at least six times).

Then it’s time to choose a picture and have the next crisis in this sudden and unexpected series of identity crises.

I’m just trying to get on Twitter not find out I need to return to therapy again!

So, which picture to choose?  I want to pick a good one, but not one where if the person ever meets me in real life they whisper to themselves, or, heaven forbid, others, “Gosh, she doesn’t look nearly as good in real life.”  But press on I must, the #blogchat (which frankly I don’t even understand what that means or how that works yet) is going to start in five minutes and Anne told me to be there. I settled on a reasonably close-up head shot because the picture I really liked was much too far away.  I held my breath and with much fear and trembling, I logged onto Twitter.

Anne, good friend that she is, did warn me that there was going to be a steep learning curve.  But she didn’t tell me it would look like this:

Tweets twittered past me at a dizzying pace.  I’ve never felt so old in my life. (And, by the way, that’s an original piece of artwork.  I created that myself this very morning.  You can’t find that picture anywhere else on the internet because I made it.  So there, mean old 4th grade teacher who laughed in my face and told me I would never become an artist because all I could draw was stick figures.  How wrong you were!!)

So now I’m on Twitter and all I need are followers.   I’m having a very hard time thinking about coming right out and asking people to “follow me”.  How can I, in good Christian conscience, ask people to follow me when I have no idea where I’m going?  I’d hate to have people rise up at the end of all Twime and declare, “We’re sorry we ever followed you, oh, and furthermore, you don’t look anything like your profile picture.”

http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/27-twitter-tools-to-help-you-find-and-manage-followers/

Ouch.  That would hurt.

But we cannot let fear of pain keep us from doing the things in life that we want to do.  Too many of us live in life-ruining fear, never really trying anything new or scary, never risking for fear we’ll lose, or be embarrassed, or, the very worst thing of all, rejected.  And the poorer the life we live for that.  I don’t know who said it, but I think it is very true:  Be brave.  Even if you’re not, pretend to be.  No one will know the difference.

It isn’t without a small bit of irony, after you’ve read all the agony I went through, that I finally chose @brazenwoman as my Twitter username.  Even though I’m a big chicken who struggles with anxiety and lots of social fears, I want to be a brave and courageous and fully actualized human being who acts and, like that old children’s hand game song, Going on a Bear Hunt, the only way to get there is to go through it. (WARNING: Do NOT actually open that link for Going on a Bear Hunt unless you feel like contemplating suicide for the rest of the day.)

So, here it is, Please follow me on Twitter.  There’s a little button at the top where you can add me.  And if you find that you don’t like where I’m going that’s fine.  Just don’t tell people that I don’t look anything like my pictures, okay?

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19 thoughts on “I’m all aTwitter

  1. >I love the name!! However, I don't tweet, or twit, or anything along those lines. πŸ™‚ I'm just trying to remember to check your blog and Susan's and Fun Girls. That's all I have time for…really.

  2. >Oh, don't be sorry. I would never do it if I didn't feel I had to. The closest I can describe the experience on TweetDeck is the scene in The Matrix where they are watching Neo and Morpheus fight while the computer code is pouring down the screen.

  3. >The Matrix! Exactly!! I'm on twit now, too. I've named it Twit in my phone.Now I just sit and wonder what to do next. Oh – and I lOVE your learning curve art. Perfect.

  4. >I thought you might like that, Robin. I was thinking about our conversation about Twitter when I drew/cut&pasted it. That's how it felt to me.

  5. >So, what the heck is a tweetdeck? And what does one do with it once one has it?BTW, I like your username. Very good.Rich got an iphone for work – yeah, right – and has Twitter, but I don't think he's used it yet. So far, I'm resisting the peer pressure, but I'm sure I'll cave at some point. Shoot.

  6. >TweetDeck is a program you upload that lets tweets twitterby. You can read real time blog chats and have live conversations. Well, you can watch them fly by at the speed of light and try anyway.

  7. >I think Twitter would just make my head hurt. After reading your blog post, I'm sure it would. I think I'll stick with FB and my blog. Too much more and I would want to throw myself off your steep learning curve. πŸ™‚

  8. >A+ on your artwork. What did that old teacher know, anyway???I'm pretty sure I'm following you. That would make me behind you on that cliff. Pass me the doo-doo wiping rag, when you're done cleaning the Twitter Litter off your own head.

  9. >Love the artwork. Also loved Chloe of the Mount – it does have a oracle-ish ring to it. Mount Chloe sounded rather volcanic to me.Anyway, having just moved into the 21st century this week and started up blogging again AND made a cooking blog all my very own self, I'm not quite sure how to tweet or what I would do with it if I did.Where does one get tweets anyway? on fb? in email?

  10. >Ok, so I went and signed into my twitter account that I made years and years ago, when we lived in WA and Miss F wanted to twitter and I said – you want to what? Ok, but I need to see what it's about (which is about the only way to work with Miss F at the time anyway). So, amazingly enough I remembered my password and signed in, and tried to follow you. Apparently what I did is tweeted people your blog address. …… Go figure.

  11. >Hmmm, I have 3 blogs, 2 Facebook pages, but no Twitter account. I know I need one, at least for my business. I have not wanted to dive into it quite yet. Maybe if you tell us all how easy and fun it is, and help us through the steps like Anne helped you, those of us who haven't joined yet, might just do it!Oh, and I agree, "MountChloe" would not be good, especially after your revelation in the last post about that thing you enjoy so much! (slinking away now)

  12. >Hey Jan! I saw you and I think I agreed to follow you back. Who knows if I got it right, but I tried. I'm going to review that today to see.Poor Rachel, at least you have your brother to commiserate with.Kristy, It wasn't technically hard to do. The big tech companies make the ruining of your life with the wasting of your time very easy and convenient these days. It is easier than setting up a VCR ever was. I registered for twitter and went through the above "pick a username" and "write the Bio" nonsense. Then I downloaded TweetDeck and Voila! Life ruined. It's as easy as that.But somehow there appears to be a chloe_mountain out there that might also be me. I have no idea how or if that happened or there is some other chloe_mountain new to twitter out there. Ignore her. That's what I'm going to do.

  13. Hmmm, I have 3 blogs, 2 Facebook pages, but no Twitter account. I know I need one, at least for my business. I have not wanted to dive into it quite yet. Maybe if you tell us all how easy and fun it is, and help us through the steps like Anne helped you, those of us who haven't joined yet, might just do it!Oh, and I agree, "MountChloe" would not be good, especially after your revelation in the last post about that thing you enjoy so much! (slinking away now)

  14. Ok, so I went and signed into my twitter account that I made years and years ago, when we lived in WA and Miss F wanted to twitter and I said – you want to what? Ok, but I need to see what it's about (which is about the only way to work with Miss F at the time anyway). So, amazingly enough I remembered my password and signed in, and tried to follow you. Apparently what I did is tweeted people your blog address. …… Go figure.

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