If 2011 was the year I made a dent on the social networking scene, 2012 might very well be the year in which I make that dent meaningful. I hope I can do this all without losing a sense of my significance (or insignificance) relative to the bigger picture. What do I mean? I have to make a better effort to connect and not just misinterpret following/follower counts as indicative of said connection.
Here is how I view Twitter. Let’s say 50 people are at a party I’m throwing. They all know who I am, after all, I am the host. Perhaps I’ve said hello to half of them once or twice in the past. I see some faces I know and the faces of some I didn’t even know were invited. At the party I chill with the two or three people I know really well while everyone else talks to each other. I might bump into some of them over by the hors d’ouevres or the crudites and say, “Hello, thanks for coming,” but invariably I return just to my closest pals. In turn, I miss out on the stories and jokes others are sharing because I’m in the comfort of my cocoon.
I have many people following me with whom I’ve never exchanged even one tweet. The sad thing is that many of these people have reached out to me, either through a remark about something I sent out, a retweet, a reference to something I write, or a “Follow Friday’ recommendation. I might acknowledge them with a, “Thanks for the ___,” or a reply, but then we’re left standing there with nothing to say.
It’s as much my fault as anyone else’s. If someone is making even a slight effort to connect, I should embrace their attempts and reciprocate them. Twitter can be a lonely, lonely world when complacency and silence merge to form elitism.
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I’m no more likely to stick to something on January 1 than I am on July 1, so I won’t call this a resolution. All it is is a realization that I am not so important or special that I should ignore all the people at the party. We’re all at the party together, so we should all enjoy it together, too.
Happy new year! See you by the fondue station!