Wednesday, May 13, 2015

These Are a Few of My Favorite Tweeps

It's hard to believe that it has been nearly 5 years since I joined the revolution in social media known as Twitter. After a year or so of thinking of it as a place where celebrities told us in 140 characters or less what they had for breakfast or who they saw out at the clubs, I decided in July of 2010 to open an account and explore it myself. My first step was to follow some athletes and broadcasters I admired and seek out anyone I knew who might be on Twitter- which was a short list. Eventually my list expanded to include lots of youth ministers and Disney fanatics, and slowly but surely people began to follow me. I tweeted often and responded to anyone who mentioned me. Every Friday I participated in the now nearly extinct tradition of Follow Friday (#FF) which led to numerous conversations and lots of new contacts. There was a time when I hoped to someday have 100 followers. It seemed odd when my list of followers reached 500; it seemed surreal when it reached 1000 and surpassed the number of members whom I followed. I remember one night at Tijuana Flats sharing with an employee that I was on Twitter, and she asked how many followers I had. When I responded 1100 she gasped, and said "WOW- you are Twitter famous!" The answer, of course, was NO. The list kept growing until I reached the over 2500 that follow me today. It has also been instrumental is spreading the word about this blog. So to paraphrase the great Chico Escuela, "Twitter has been bery, bery good to me!"

But that's not what I wanted to write about today. Twitter was first and foremost for me a place where I encountered some wonderful, loving, caring and thoughtful people who gave me encouragement and support. Many of us used Twitter to converse on a regular basis about things both meaningful and silly. Friendships developed with people we had very little hope of actually meeting. When many of them discovered my past transgressions in May of 2011 through posts on this blog, they simply reached out with grace. These strangers became part of my inner circle, members of my family. And I love them.

Twitter has changed. There are fewer conversations and more posturing and agenda promoting now than ever before, and I am as guilty as the next person. Politics are used to divide people and label each other. And some of my favorite Tweeps, not willing to put up with that nonsense, have left or are seldom around anymore. And I really, really, REALLY miss them, and I miss talking to so many others. So today on Twitter I am using the hashtag #TwitFavs to shout out to many of those who were so important to me in my early days on the medium and to let them all know they are thought of and missed. The lists will also acknowledge those who are still important parts of my life on Twitter. The lists will be long and scattered throughout the day, but I hope to convey a sense of just how many Tweeps impacted my life over these past 5 years. And if you are on Twitter and looking for some people to follow, I suggest EVERY SINGLE PERSON that I mention today. They are simply the best! Have a Happy Hump Day, and keep on tweeting my friends!

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