To tweet or not to tweet

…that is the question.

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of professional solitude
Or to take arms against a dearth of ideas
And by tweeting end them. To tweet, to talk–
And more–and by a tweet to say we beget
The knowledge, and the thousand natural thoughts
That mind is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To tweet, to talk–
To converse–perchance to grow: ay, there’s the rub,
For in that thought from tweet what growth may come
When we have connected with learned peers
Must give us pause.

Apologies to the Bard and an acknowledgment for my late aunt who wrote many a parody of this very soliloquy…although my meagre attempt is in no way indicative of her great skill as a parodist.

The question is posed. To tweet or not to tweet?

There are arguments on both sides.  And there are facets within those arguments such as whether the twitter account be private or public, whether a person hold muliple accounts to express views pertinant to one aspect of their life, and so on.

I’ve long held the view that I am one person, multifaceted and unashamed.  I do very little in secret.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  I am who I am…warts and all.  I have made a choice to be this way.  I find that when I hide parts of myself away from public view that I am somehow not being genuine and that makes me feel very uncomfortable indeed.  So I opt to share perhaps more than I should in order to satisfy my innate tendencies towards exhibitionism.

My social media presence is highly reflective of my inner thoughts.  These aren’t always pretty but they are always genuine.  If I have a good day, you’ll know about it.  If I have a terrible day, you’ll know about it.  I wish I had more time for environmental scanning to discover new and innovative practices because you’d end up knowing about that too.  My Twitter output is mostly me expressing my joys and my frustrations.

I also use Twitter to connect with my professional community.  As a solo librarian, I often feel disconnected from the library world.  I have no colleagues in the office with me to bounce ideas around with.  Sure, I could get on the phone and call someone but that means interrupting my work and theirs perhaps just to ask a silly question and that’s just not my style.  I see Twitter and its 140 character limit as the equivalent of a question posed out loud in an office environment.  Sometimes you’ll get an answer that just hits the spot and sometimes you’ll get others saying they have the same question.

I also get to discover the distilled learnings of my colleagues who have more time than I do to read widely on matters pertaining to my work and professional development.  They cover in 140 characters (plus links) what would take me days to process without their assistance.

I guess what I’m trying to say with this post is that there is a richness and diversity within Twitter that fulfills many needs.  With Twitter I can learn, connect, vent, seek comfort, have fun and feel alive and not so lonely.

I will continue to braindump into Twitter as I always have.  The Twitterverse knows what to respond to and what to ignore.

To my personal learning network and to my online social circle I would like to say that you keep me afloat when I would otherwise sink.  You are my lifelines.

Thank you.


This entry was posted in Librarianship, Life choices, Private life, Reflection and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to To tweet or not to tweet

  1. seanmurgatroyd says:

    And I would like to return your thanks. As a fellow live-life-out-louder, having you as a twitfriend makes me feel less alone.

  2. seanmurgatroyd says:

    Then it is a pity we are not face to face!

  3. You need a colleague to bounce ideas off, and to laugh with. Likewise, I’m the only librarian on-site. My work life would be much poorer without the conversations that I get on Twitter. Especially the conversations that make me giggle 🙂

  4. What a beautiful post, Fiona. As a solo non-Librarian, my tweet stream also keeps me hooked in to the world outside my immediate 4 walls. Thanks for being one of my PLN / online social circle, who I know I can rely on to share your own ‘distilled learnings”, that I might benefit.

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