Yesterday I lost a Twitter follower, for justifiable and very admirable reasons, in fact this follower left Twitter. At the risk of sounding over dramatic, the follower wasn’t called Lyra Belacqua, but I think I now have a better understanding of how Will Parry felt when the knife was broken in the Oxford Botanic Gardens..
Now I’ve lost followers before probably due to something I Tweeted, but this particular loss felt inexplicably emotional, and was a really poignant moment. So it got me thinking about the emotional links we develop with people who in reality we don’t know, and using technology are able to share ideas with. Surely it must take more than 140 characters to get to know someone?
I find one of the greatest things about Twitter is that we are so diverse, I could not hope in a hundred lifetimes to meet and share thoughts, events and lives with so many diverse and interesting people in my living room. (or indeed on my phone). I do this most nights and find it a genuinely life enriching experience.
So, am I being too compassionate? Trying to be too empathic? Is Twitter just a shallow geeky tech development that will soon be replaced by another geeky tech development at some point in the future? I didn’t lose a real friend did I? Surely this was someone I don’t know, have never met and have no emotional attachment to who is no longer reading my Tweets. But it doesn’t bloody well feel like that!
I make no material gain from Twitter, I’m not competitive, don’t care how many followers I have, just want to have the right followers who enjoy conversing with me for the right reasons and who are not self promoters. So its not because my corporate psyche is damaged.
My professional role involves supporting a wide range of people which I strive to do to the best of my ability and yes, you guessed it, do tend to take work home and unashamedly wear my heart on my sleeve.
So, to prevent me from rambling on for too long, that’s probably it, so lets not intellectualise the language, I’m just an old softie who shared ideas and conversation with a lovely caring intelligent person and now thats over and I’m genuinely smarting. But I do still believe its possible to feel electronic empathy and genuinely like someone via Twitter, hundreds of Tweet-ups are testament to that thought, not that I’ve been involved in one yet……
Slap me round the face someone!
How about you? Am I alone in feeling like this? It would be good to hear your experiences.