I’ll admit to being a bit of a twitterer, and have been for a couple of years, well 3 years, 4 months, 3 weeks, 1 day, 20 hours, 40 minutes, 35 seconds, apparently.
And it’s changed me. In a good way. I think. I
For me Twitter has opened me up to statements, questions, positions, and opinions that I’ve really had to question, and it’s been deliberate. I’ve enjoyed a lot of twitter, as a participant and as an observer.
Sure it’s allowed me to group with people who feel the same way, and to form weak warm fuzzy bonds with some people, particularly on subjects like Cricket, or Rugby League, or Football, or Beer for instance. Sure it’s allowed me to participate in the current meme.
The thing with twitter for me, is to follow people that I have some association or empathy with, either they’re funny, authentic, urbane or mildly famous, but in Pdubyahworld I associate with them on some level. Although I “follow” less than 500 people in a timeline that I visit most often, I do have lists that contain perhaps 500 other people that I’m going to read.
And on some days it’s a challenge. Somehow it transpires that I follow (and have listed) a lot of left-wing socialist types. They have opinions and statements that make me grind my teeth, on some days. But they are authentic and they are genuine, and I’m sure some of them are mildly famous. Which makes me sound a bit right-wing and conservative. I’d rather be thought of as liberal and self-centric
From this melange then, Twitter has made me question and form actual opinions about things. About things like same sex marriage. About things like welfare. About things like the justice system. About things like religion, About things like gender equality. About things like ethics. Proper opinions, not toss-off remarks to mates over a beer in a pub opinions, but real ones. And I’ve changed my opinions, particularly over the last 3 years. Not all of them. Some of them.
And I think that these changes have made me more tolerant, less of a bigot, and a calmer person. I’m sure not everyone uses twitter for the same reason I do, which is a whole other post about needy, and not everyone gets the same result. There are as many drop-outs as there are adherents.
The rest of the time is affirmation that I’m among a group of like-minded people who would probably be the sort to stop and help in a crisis. Which is reassuring.