As my Twitter addiction intensifies, I am starting to grapple with the question: what is my online persona or what should it be? Really, that’s probably two different questions, but everything is running together for me right now. As so many have pointed out, Tweeting is about the quality of the interactions and being transparent and genuine. That is what I have tried to be, even more so recently.
In the early days of my Tweeting career, I posted about anything and everything, rarely giving thought to who was listening. Now, I put a lot more thought into my tweets, but every once in awhile, I get fired up about something and hit send before I’ve reflected on how my followers may receive the message. Case in point, last night, I re-tweeted a message from TIME about the Hawaiian governor’s decision to allow same sex civil unions. I believe that everyone, regardless of their sexual preference, should be allowed the same rights as everyone else, so this news was a big “hurrah” for me. And off into the Twittersphere it went.
Fast forward two hours. I am reading up on some of my new Twitter friends to get to know them better and discover that one of them had unfollowed me. Oh no! My stomach dropped. Then I read his profile. Oh no again! Right there for the world to see was his declaration of support in favor of traditional conservative values. EEK. It had to have been my TIME RT. I must have offended him. Before I had time to let the emotions settle, I fired off a tweet to him to find out if I had in fact offended him. Turns out it was a big misunderstanding and he didn’t intentionally unfollow me, nor had I offended him. Phew! But it does lead me to this question: Should we/can we/will we be ourselves in the Twittersphere?
If my new follower had unfollowed me because of that RT, would it have been the end of the world? I guess not, no, because it’s not about the number of followers. But, even though he was a new friend, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our interactions, and if I had offended him, I would feel awful. On the other hand, the Tweet in question was me- the unabridged, undiluted me. If he doesn’t like that, that is his choice and I am okay with that… or am I?