As a new blogger and currently self-employed person, I just signed up for Twitter and am feeling incredibly anxious about it. It just seems so anti-everything-I-am-trying-to-be-right-now. I am trying to be about being slow, taking time, allowing things to develop, deepening relationships, letting things develop organically. Twitter seems so much about sound bites, packets of information, all informing, no relating.
I signed up because current wisdom says this is what you do when you are trying to promote your work, you must do it via social media. I have to admit, there have been some times that I thought Twitter might be useful; to pass along a helpful article that didn’t seem to warrant a full blog post, to advertise useful seminars, to post a simple observation without winding it out to a full explanation. It seemed like a good idea, so I signed up.
Then Twitter prompts me to find friends who tweet. Find organizations I might be interested in who tweet. Categories of interests that might be tweeting. I now have a list of tweets from people I don’t even know, giving me little bits of information, no background, no context. It’s like Facebook status updates without the relationship to back them up. I look at this list of tweets, and my stomach turns. Do I really want this information?
I recently responded to a post in a forum for spiritual directors on how I was able to find a couple of directees by using social media. A few posts later someone–and this was bound to happen, being a forum for spiritual directors–suggested that the original posting person stop looking for directees and instead pray they would show themselves, or that the desire to have them would go away. Had I been in the same room, I might have hissed at this person. Of COURSE we should all be praying for directees and praying through our vocation. But my problem is I tend to pray more than I act. I need to couple action with prayer so that living life becomes intertwined with prayer. As someone called to spiritual direction and to action, I act in one of the easiest ways possible to those with a computer & wireless connection: virtually.
Isn’t using social media a bit like prayer? It certainly feels at times like what I write goes out into a void. I don’t know if it will be helpful to anyone or not. Yes, I hope it will be to my good–bringing me directees–but that’s not how it feels to post. It is an act of faith to write, to be vulnerable, to post. It feels like a risk.
As I’ve written today’s post, I’ve editing who precisely I’m following on Twitter. Please don’t be offended it I’m not following you. I just want to make sure what I’m following keeps me focused on Christ rather than the things of this world.