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Sometimes it’s hard for me to express how social media has changed my life, because it’s difficult for me to remember life before I was immersed in it. It’s like remembering life before kids: intellectually I can recall what it was like to sleep in until noon every Sunday then go out for a two-hour brunch, but emotionally I can’t connect with it.
For me, social media is Twitter. Sure, I post to Facebook, but it’s almost always a forced afterthought. Twitter comes naturally. I joined on July 19th, 2008 (you can find out when you joined twitter here), so my three-year anniversary is coming up in less than a month. According to Wikipedia the traditional three-year anniversary gift is leather – do I owe my computer a new leather pouch?
Actually, I owe Twitter a big thank you (or probably “thanks” because that takes fewer characters) for forcing me to learn brevity. I’ve always been rather verbose, and the fact that I have to convey complete thoughts in 140 characters has been a challenge that I think I’ve met pretty well. In fact, I was named Funniest Mom on Twitter by Babble.com last year, so I think I’ve done pretty well adapting this new writing format to my sarcastic personality.
The people who know me in real, actual, three-dimensional life owe twitter a thank you as well, because Twitter has allowed me to stop forcing myself on people. I’m pretty opinionated (no, seriously!), and as much as I wanted to express myself before, I couldn’t help but think that I was foisting my opinions on people who couldn’t care less. But with Twitter, it is completely voluntary. There’s no awkward “Well, it was nice talking to you, but I have to get to my root canal.” If you’re following my tweets you’re there of your own free will.
Sure, I have other places to express myself, like on this blog, but only a small fraction of what I want to talk about ends up here. With Twitter, I can say my piece about whatever the hell I want and then get back to what I was doing ten seconds later. It’s me, almost completely unedited. Or, as my mom would say, me with verbarrhea, where the words just run out uncontrollably (nice mental image, no?).
People talk about how social media is making us, ironically, un-social. But instead, I prefer to think of it as a new kind of social. It doesn’t take the place of people, but sometimes, you want to save the real people in your everyday life from your every opinion about everything. Twitter has become my repository. Sure, I may corner a friend occasionally and tell her exactly what I think about people who can’t keep “its” and “it’s” straight or what I think about high-heeled sneaker shoes, and sometimes I even get my act together enough to write whole blog posts about people who sign their emails with “God Bless You.” But I think it works best when I just throw it out there on Twitter for people to come find, and they can discover me.
Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 13. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.