Well, the 2015 October Platform Challenge at the Writer’s Digest blog “There Are No Rules” continues to force me out of my comfort zone. Challenge leader Robert Lee Brewer made today’s task a simple one – join Twitter.
No problem for me – I have had a Twitter account for more than four years now – @margecutter. So, I’m done, can I leave now?
Oh, wait. Mr. Brewer expects us to actually use our Twitter account. Okay. No problem. I’ve tweeted. Counting today’s tweet to verify that I have completed the challenge task, I have tweeted exactly…twice. The first time was in early 2014, to let any followers I had know that my account had been hacked and to ignore any direct messages they received that appeared to be from me.
Why, you may ask, have I had a Twitter account for more than four years, and have only tweeted twice? Well, let me tie up my dinosaur here, and I’ll try to explain.
I’m a (mumble mumble mumble) year old, who had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the computer age by my (then) pre-teen son. I mastered e-mail, message boards, and a few basic games, until my career in retail employment forced me to grow and learn a few business apps.
I only started using social media about a decade ago, because some of my former employees asked me to. I could not see the purpose of it – if I needed to communicate with someone, I could use the telephone, paper-and-pencil, or e-mail.
Once I started to understand social media, I was quickly addicted to Facebook. It was a wonderful way to keep in touch with far-flung friends and family, reconnect with people from my past, and make new friends based on similar interests.
Then, an author friend of mine started using Twitter. I immediately signed up for an account, but just to follow him. I soon discovered others on Twitter who were worth following. Today, I follow 56 Twitter users. I would follow many, many more if I had the time.
But I do not tweet. It’s not that I have nothing to say. It’s that I have nothing vital that I want to say in 140 characters. I prefer Facebook. I even prefer this blog. I can be as verbose as I please. And then there’s the comfort zone thing, remember? That thing this challenge keeps forcing me out of. I’m not comfortable using octothorps (hashtags) and other alien symbols. I really don’t understand their proper use…yet.
Will I tweet in the future? Absolutely! The day I sign a contract to have my first book published, you can bet I will tweet! And I will tweet about it every single day thereafter. And then I will tweet about all my subsequent books.
But until then, I will do more following than tweeting. Following…and learning.
If you’d like to watch me as I learn and grow, feel free to stop back from time to time. I’ll keep the porch light on for you.
#platchal #learningandgrowing #goodbyecomfortzone #tweettweet