The electronics break is over after two weeks away. A (near) blackout from email, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogging. It got me to thinking about why – and whether – they are all necessary. The first one up for consideration? Twitter.
Being new to Twitter a few months ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A friend had recommended that I “join in on the conversation” due to my interests in project management and leadership. He said there were whole communities in the Twitter-verse to share thoughts and get feedback from one another. He was right. It wasn’t just about what the latest celebrity was up to, which is what I feared going in.
Going from one to hundreds of connections in a few weeks takes some getting used to. What starts as a manageable stream of information quickly becomes a flood and can overwhelm even the best intentioned. I am no exception. It still feels like I’m standing neck-deep in raging water, but I do my best to actively participate in a way that’s genuine and reciprocal. It often feels by chance that I find a great quote or article to RT out of all the tweets I receive throughout the day. Standing at the microwave while I’m heating my lunch is usually a great time.
I’m not sure about anyone else, but it was one particular tweet that got me hooked. At the time, I didn’t really think anything of it. Just shot off a response and moved on. Yet it is still with me.
That’s the power of social media. IF we can find those precious moments to reflect, instead of continuing to drown in the deluge constantly coming at us. There are moments of inspiration to be found and shared. Ones that show us the power to be harnessed.
Enough melodrama…here’s the one that got me started and showed me that Twitter could be more than just random celebrity sightings.
Friend: “Men who stand for what they believe in are leaders. Women who do the same are abrasive.” This is too limiting.
Me: Smooth surfaces provide no traction. I’ll take that description and make it my own.
It is only with resistance, texture, grip, or conflict that we can launch forward with momentum. Smooth surfaces might be okay for a walk, but if you are running and trying to make progress, you need some sort of resistance. If you had to choose between running on a sheet of ice or sand paper, which would you choose? The one that’s abrasive. I believe you can be a strong leader, no matter what your gender, but that true leadership is not smoothly supporting every random idea that goes by. True leadership includes exercising your right to resist, in turn helping others build better arguments and ideas. If that means being abrasive, so be it.
Thanks Mike for pushing me to become a bird (tweet, tweet) and for sharing a thought that made me pause in the middle of the flood.
Do you have a favorite tweet? One that got you hooked? Feel free to share in the comments.