Author’s note, particularly for my non-tweeting readers: The Little Rock Twitter Community, (a.k.a. @LRTweetup) (a.k.a. people who somehow get away with tweeting from work all day and then regularly get together in the same room to tweet their conversations) is celebrating its first birthday in May with the #LRTweeties (think: Oscars but with birds and “snappy casual” dress). As part of the build-up for the #LRTweeties, @LRTweetup has asked the tweeps to share their stories of how they became involved, of what @LRTweetup means to them, and so on and so forth, etcetera. (Oh, and if you don’t already know and it wasn’t clear, the “@” and “#” signs are Twitter-speak).
So here’s my story about how I don’t really have a story … yet.
Even though the @LRTweetup is officially turning 1, many of the LR tweeps have been tweeting for much longer than that. My actual Twitter born-on date is March 16, 2009 and I didn’t do much of anything in the beginning, so I’m a little late to the Twitter party I suppose. That should be no surprise to anyone who really knows me. I have a tendency to be a hold-out on pretty much everything. I’d like to say it’s a principle thing but it’s really just because I’m stubborn. So all it takes is one person telling me I “gotta” or “should” or “oughta” try something and you can count on me doing the opposite for as long as possible.
I was that way with #Facebook; hearing everyone talk about how “everyone” was on it just made me want to not be all the more. But after we’d moved across 3 state lines in as many years, I started thinking #Facebook couldn’t be half bad. Heck, I was even that way with the #Twilight books. If one more person told me I should read them because I like #HarryPotter so much, screaming or slapping (or both) was going to be involved (I mean, where’s the similarity really?). But I caved, as I always eventually do, becoming so obsessed with the #EdwardCullen character that I devoted a post to him. Hey, I’m healthy in my insanity: I can admit the error of my ways.
It was sort of the same thing with Twitter. I heard people (“cooler” than me, of course) talking about Twitter and didn’t have a clue what it was but knew if it was becoming as popular as it sounded, I wanted nothing to do with it. Once I finally gave in and created an account I still couldn’t see using it all that much. I mean, let’s face it, I’m long-winded. I talk too much and have a slightly sarcastic tone that doesn’t always bode well in type (or so I’ve been told). Why in the world would I want to involve myself in anything that limits me to 140 characters or less? Because it’s fun. Well, there you go: in less than 20.
I started by following local news sources and some not-so-local-but-interesting-to-me twits (I’m still not fully versed on when someone is a tweep and when they’re a twit; but there’s just something funny about calling someone a twit). Of course, my tweeting was sporadic, in frequency and in topic, and it never occurred to me that I might make friends. Then I saw a few mentions of a @LRTweetup …
I made plans to go to one a few months back (with 3 kids, everything requires advanced planning), but ended up backing out … it’s been so long now that I can’t remember why. It couldn’t have been that hubs (a non-twit) was running late at work and couldn’t care for the kids or that I just chickened out (because I’m shyer than I like to admit … oops). Not many (if any) of the people I interact with daily are on Twitter and many (if not all) of them may not even know about it or see the point – so you see, I’d be going it alone. You’d think my stubborn nature would see the value in that but, uh, not so much.
But on Twitter I talk to people regularly that, though I’ve never met them IRL (that’s “in real life” for you non-twits), I look forward to the conversation. So when the last @LRTweetup was scheduled to be #passonthegift @Heifer, I decided I was not going to chicken out. Of course, one of my oldest friends (another non-twit) works @Heifer, so I was guaranteed someone to talk to in all my shyness (man, I said it again). So I went. I kept to myself a bit and recognized more tweeps than I actually talked to IRL. But I did hang out in the corner a bit with @kellimarks; got my pic taken by @laureneclark; spotted @jamiewalden money for a drink; and even won a door prize from @Heifer.
So I figure the more I go to these get-togethers, the more comfortable I’ll get. Then, I’ll really have a story to tell. Then, God help us all – unless someone cuts me off every 140 characters.