I've never been a fan of Twitter. I joined when I became a published author because I had to and only used it to promote other authors' books as part of a promo group. I've just never gotten it. The brief format didn't appeal to me--I could never understand how people claimed to have developed useful relationships with strangers in 140 characters--and doubling it doesn't make much difference. Too many posts in my feed are brief, cryptic messages with some unidentifiable link attached. I'm not about to open something like that from someone I don't know! And then there's the fact that some of the worst behavior in modern times seems to occur on or because of Twitter. It hasn't been a place I've really wanted to be.
However, I think I've finally found a use for it.
I'm normally a Facebook person. I like the format, the longer posts, and the ability to converse with friends. And because I try to keep my presence upbeat and positive, I avoid posting anything political on my page. I have strong feelings, but arguments--especially with strangers--give me hives, and these days I'm working hard to keep myself as calm as possible. At any rate, a few weeks ago, I felt an urgent need to say something political. I didn't need or want to have a conversation with anyone--I just needed to put my thoughts out in the universe. The words appeared in my brain and screamed to be set free. All writers will understand. If I didn't write them down and send them somewhere, they would continue to pester me.
The question was, where?
As I've said, I didn't want to put them on Facebook, although many would have. I considered my blog. I rarely post there and could safely assume no one would read anything I wrote there if I didn't draw attention to it. Then I remembered Twitter. It would be perfect. I may have 1,500 followers, but they don't actually follow me because there's nothing to follow. Most have no idea who I am and would skim past anything I posted. If they did happen to read the tweet and liked or retweeted it, great! I would never know. If they hated my statement and made ugly comments, the same would apply. I could get the idea out of my head and move on. What did I have to lose?
My tweet turned out to have fewer than 140 characters so off it went. Guess what happened. As predicted, almost nothing. One like and two retweets. Except now the thought is no longer munching around in my brain. Now I know what to do with those unimportant little bits of brilliance that pop into my head from time to time. I can post them on Twitter and send them off into the ether like a note inside a balloon. If they reach someone, fine, but that's not important. I'm free of them, and that's what matters.