Sunday Coffee – Story behind every twitter avatar
I wanted to post a blog for the Sunday Coffee segment, but my Sunday was spent for responding, thanking, and following amazing people who congratulated me for appearing on my second offline press. The online version of the article is available if you feel like reading about it. The article was published by The Star, one of the biggest newspapers in Malaysia, and I have to thank Hariati, the reporter who conducted the interview with me, for making it published on Mother’s Day. It is a great present for my mom.
It was an amazing experience; I woke up to text messages from friends congratulating me on making it into the press as well as having a full page all for myself (I didn’t know it was going to be a full page). Of course, there is a need for balance, and every sweetness comes with a bitterness to balance nature. Just like Clark Kent has Lex Luther.
So, after receiving amazing support from my Twitter family, came some people who probably don’t know me, or have never heard of me before today, and their “angry tweets”. Of course I don’t take it seriously as we all have the freedom of speech, or in this case the freedom of tweet. Some tweets was pretty normal, asking who am I, or saying that I wasn’t influential because I follow 130k out of the 170k followers on my account, and it was normal to me because these tweets are nothing that I’ve not seen or responded to before. Furthermore, I have never claimed to be an expert in any field or to be influential. Some tweets include branding me a social whore, and even includes threats saying that if they were my University, they would kick me out because I spend more time on Twitter than on classes. (Whaat??)
Some said that I shouldn’t follow back people because it wasn’t a natural thing to do on Twitter. Natural? I don’t think that the Internet is nature at all. We all have different twitter strategies and what may work for me, may not work for you. I have no doubt about that. I could pretend and unfollow the 130k people on my account and only following a few like what most Twitter users do, but I am not that person. I don’t think I am influential, but hey, who am I to stop what my followers and readers think of me?
Having heard all of the above, I have never let any of them get to me. I grew up not letting negativity dictate me. Criticism has always been there and will continue to be there no matter what we do, it is what you do with it that helps you to continually grow as a person. As long as you don’t let it get in your head, you’re alright. My best Twitter tip is to be yourself and as long as you are yourself, you’re alright. Why should you change yourself to impress others when you’re not comfortable? Your friends, followers, fans all love you for who you are. If someone doesn’t like who you are, they can unfollow you of course.
Twitter to me is a communication medium, it is used for me to connect with other people, and that is why I love following back. There is a story in every twitter avatar is what I always tell myself. Twitter is like a huge conference where I am able to meet new people every day. Following back to me is like exchanging a business card, it goes two ways. If you were given a business card from someone you have just met, would you keep it and walk away? If you were given a hand to shake and a smile to return, would you shrug your shoulders and turn around? Whether I connect with them again in the future is different, because we don’t know what the future holds for us, who knows I might start a business with someone I met on Twitter? (Wait, I actually did.. more on this later!) Twitter to me is not a popularity contest nor do is my account the contestant. Twitter has connected me with amazing celebrities, successful CEOs of huge companies, founders of innovative startups, and even with amazing mothers all around the world. (Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!)
How you use Twitter or any social networking sites is entirely up to you, you can use it to post what you eat, share what others blog about, or basically anything that you think connects you with other people. It’s your medium. Just like your mobile phone, you can use it to connect with your friends, find clients, keep in touch with your parents, or maybe you just want to have an iPhone to play games. Social networking sites has always been created with the purpose of mirroring some part of you into the internet, and therefore it is alright for you to use it however you prefer it to be.
Oh man, my caffeine is all gone! Time for a refill. Any thoughts?