Every day I think I’ll never last another day on Twitter – and every day I come back.I sit, yet again, like Alice in Wonderland, watching the latest ‘storm in a teacup’, the latest ‘Punch and Judy Show’, as they whizz past before my eyes. I’d like to join in more, but frequently, by the time I’ve stopped wondering what all the fuss is about and think I might have something helpful to say, it’s all over and I’ve missed the boat.
It’s not always so fast and I’m not always so slow. It’s not just an age thing, either – I was never any good at ‘Snap’ either. I was OK at the brain bit (who wouldn’t be?) but the journey from brain-to-voice tended to be in the slow lane!
Of course, many of the high-speed tweets are not part of a ‘storm’ – I see a lot of wit and repartee, and I love it.I see a lot of thoughtful and well-articulated tweets, and I love them, too. Then there are beautiful photos of seascapes, landscapes and buildings and I enjoy a ‘virtual’ tour of places I may never get to see in real life…and I go on a nostalgic trip down memory lane when I see Richie Hammond’s wonderful photos of Swansea, my home town, which I don’t visit as often as I’d like.
I love the fact that I can read tweets in German. I love the fact that I can listen to great debates on the ‘Mere Fidelity’ podcasts and that, although I’m not a theologian,I can follow much of it and learn from it.
The more I think about it, there are so many things I like about Twitter that I’m now wondering why, every day, I have that feeling that I won’t last another day. Yet I don’t need to wonder for too long – it’s all there, in my opening paragraph. There seem to be such strong feelings expressed at times, and things seem to escalate and polarize so quickly.In the middle of that, I see some moderate folk trying to pour oil on troubled waters and then getting caught in the cross-fire, and that grieves me.
I will pray the ‘Serenity’ prayer – that I will be given the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can change, and wisdom to know the difference.
I am concerned about the matters that are at the root of conflicts on Twitter, not they can’t all be addressed at once, and by everyone and I do wonder about my own part, and how I can spend my time and energy as fruitfully as possible.
A former teaching colleague, weary with yet another set of guidelines, yet another defined syllabus, once put a booklet on a top shelf and said:’Well, I won’t be dealing with that ’til it hits me on the head!’
Maybe I need to spend less time on Twitter. Some of the issues that ‘hit me on the head’ on a daily basis on Twitter don’t hit me on the head to a great extent in everyday life.
I need to prioritize.
And so to the ‘Serenity’prayer…
Update 23/11/2014 at 6.10 p.m.
I have unfollowed over 100 tweeps who don’t follow me
I have turned off RT’s on some accounts
I have reduced my own Twitter activity by about 80%
I am a trained and experienced teacher and I love the Scriptures, but I have not been called to be a ‘Twitter teacher’, so I will post no more tweets about the Scriptures – but I will continue to indicate my appreciation of those who present God’s truth on Twitter in a timely and edifying way.
Onward and upward!
Well, I definitely prefer wit to war!
Update 25th November 2014 at 06.50 a.m.
‘Oh Lord, you are a lover of justice.
I pray that your truth, your mercy and your justice will prevail today.’
My time-line is like a tinder-box today.
Even a peaceful request for silent reflection has received hostile and inflammatory comments.
Update 25th November 2014 at 07.25 a.m.
My timeline is looking more peaceable now. Long may it continue to do so!
Update 26th November 2014
I like these words of Rilke:
‘Why should you want to give up a child’s wise not-understanding in exchange for defensiveness and scorn, since not-understanding is, after all, a way of being alone, whereas defensiveness and scorn are a participation in …what you want to separate yourself from.’
‘What is happening in your innermost self is worthy of your entire love;somehow you must find a way to work at it, and not lose too much time in clarifying your attitude toward people.’
[From: ‘Letters to a young poet’ by Rainer Maria Rilke ]