The Complete Tweet

3 May

Not long ago I received a direct message from a fellow Twitter user. Unlike most of us who simply click the unfollow button and forget about it, she wanted to explain why she was dumping me.

>>Unfollowing due to too many controversial tweets (politics, religion, etc). Thought they’d be mostly about writing as in your description.<<

My Twitter description says: Writer, Editor, Bicyclist. So, she’s correct. I tweet about much more than those three words indicate.

I post thoughts on everything from my frustration with President Obama’s kowtowing to conservatives to priestly pedophile perversions. I sound off on the precariousness of the economic recovery and the fragile condition of our planet. Although I do not consider myself a humorist, I link to those who do make me laugh with either cute gags or crude comments. I also comment on college basketball and Major League Baseball.

Oh, and once in a while I will tweet about writing, editing, and bicycling.

Like my disgruntled former follower, I glance at the descriptions people post about themselves. But I seldom make that the criteria for following. I look at their actual tweets because that’s where I learn the truth about who they are on Twitter. Most of these mini-bios are not helpful, except from those who use the microblogging service as a way to make money. Those folks, for the most part, are up front about how they exploit Twitter and so they are easy to avoid.

Other Twitter users who tweet on only one part of their lives–politics, the environment, religion/atheism, sports, music–many of whom I follow, are only revealing a small slice of who they are to the rest of us. They might as well be an impersonal, but reliable news service. In fact, it is how they want to be perceived. There’s nothing wrong with that, it only means they are one-dimensional and might as well be an old teletype machine clacking away in a closet.

But the rest of us, the majority of us, are different. We use Twitter to express who we are and what interests us. And, despite the description about me, I am much more than a person who writes, edits, and pedals a bike. I make no apologies about it.

What’s more, I suspect, if I remain a Twitter user, I will change. Maybe I will obsess less about politics and more about sports. Maybe I will focus more on my photography or post more items about health. Who knows? I am not the same person I was even a few years ago.

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Likewise for the stream of tweets flowing from my keyboard; and the same holds true most everyone else. Our tweets change because we all change as the world we live in wobbles on its axis, which, by the way, just shifted from a major earthquake. Nothing is constant.

For me, the full, multi-dimensional, users of Twitter are many things. They are angry, sad, political, satirical, holy, heretical, and everything in-between. They are complete people in their own way. That’s the joy I find in using the service. It reveals our complex natures tweet by incomplete tweet until a total picture of a person is drawn for each of us to see in our own minds; a picture that is smudged and erased and redrawn time and time again.


One Response to “The Complete Tweet”


  1. Tweets that mention The Complete Tweet « Words Words Words by Mark Everett Hall -- - May 3, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Everett Hall, Mahendra Palsule. Mahendra Palsule said: RT @Croisan: "The Complete Tweet" A new blog post about being #unfollowed […]

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