On the afternoon of Saturday, January 15, 2011, I decided to heed the siren song of that internet sensation known as Twitter and composed the following thought:
Yeah, I really didn’t head into Twitter in a blaze of glory, now did I? Up until that day, I was rather content to just having a very simple presence on the internet through a photo album on Flickr. But a few months before this first tweet, I had just purchased my very first smart phone, which meant that I had finally got in touch with the 21st century. And that was 4 years after I finally bought my first cell phone, an Adele-in-the-video-for-“Hello” type of flip phone, which meant that I had finally got in touch with the late 20th century. (Please don’t brand me a Luddite, okay?)
So, having graduated from a skateboard to a Lexus (which is how the salesperson at the cellular phone store termed my upgrade to a smart phone), I started to wonder… gee, what should I do with this newfangled phone in my hands? I’ve never been one to play games on my phone. And while GPS and map apps are all good, they don’t mean a thing if I don’t have to go anywhere.
And that’s when I started to contemplate establishing a presence on social media. Facebook was (and still is) a hot thing back then, but this was just after The Social Network was released, and I wasn’t keen toward being part of Mark Zuckerberg’s efforts to get back at some girl who broke up with him. (Boy, that film sure didn’t show him in a flattering light.) In fact, I still don’t have a Facebook account to this day, what with its controversial “real name” policy that doesn’t protect certain entertainers (e.g. drag performers) and others who need the privacy of an internet alias. (I want to think they’ve modified their stance since then, but I still have to look askance at them.)
Then I turned to the 140-character sensation that is Twitter. Yeah, I pondered long and hard, and pondered some more, about setting up an account. Initially, I thought Twitter was generally a platform of quick self-promotion. I mean, almost every celebrity has a Twitter account to promote their next project or their every single move or anything to stay one step above TMZ and Entertainment Tonight. Or so I always thought.
But after establishing my Twitter account, I fast discovered that Twitter is a heck of a lot more than celebrities and promotions. Basically, it’s talking about life in general. Whether it be something awesome you saw online that day:
Or saw in person:
Or paying someone a good word:
Or even a critical one:
Or just words of support or encouragement or empathy:
Or even a moment of self-correction:
Or highlighting the really good things about the world:
Or contemplating about various odds and ends in their life:
Whether they be high points:
Or not-so-fun times:
Or those times when your mind has completely forgotten about the circumstances of the moment:
Or a moment you relish now even if it’s a moment you experienced before:
Or a moment that’s not assured will happen again:
Or just building and expressing friendships with others:
Or just simply endorsing something they said better than you ever will:
Or, yes, taking time for a little bit of narcissism:
Or at least being honest about yourself to the rest of the world wide web:
But definitely reserving 140 characters to show sincere gratitude:
This post will mark my 10,000th tweet since establishing my Twitter account. In that time, I’ve connected with a lot of others whom I truly admire. Many of them I interact with on a regular basis; a few have dropped off the Twitter wayside completely, or at least don’t tweet as often as they did before (I’ll never name names; I’m not that kind of girl). Whatever the case, I admire them for expressing the people they are in a nuanced 140 characters. What’s even stunning is that they have a respect and admiration for me as well, and I’m talking not just crossdressers like me but average everyday folks who see past my clothing and appreciate the person I am, even if for just a little moment. Is there a little bit of narcissism in Twitter? That’s in the eye of the beholder. But Twitter is a little window in the lives of anyone who uses it and builds connections through it. That’s something that I never thought it was before my first tweet.