I'm a relative newby to the twitterverse.  The majority of people I tweet with have been tweeting for quite some time.  I did try over a year ago to use Twitter but could not for the life of me see what use it was.  For goodness sake, who really cares whether I am working hard, going out or cooking spag bol for dinner?  No one I'm guessing, because no one Tweeted with me during that 1 month period.  I felt like a social outcast.  I felt like I was having 140 character conversations with myself.  I felt like I was one of those kids in the playground that no one wanted to be friends with.   There was a lot of chatter going on around me, but none with me.   Needless to say I snuck away, unnoticed by anyone in the twitterverse, to Facebook where I had real friends.

Fast Forward 1 year.  I met Mel Kettle (@melkettle) at a meeting where she was giving a brief of the presentation she was going to give on Social Networking.  Mel is a big Twitter fan.  After listening to her I thought I might go home and add her as a friend on Twitter and see what happens.  

The rest is history ... I've been twittering regularly for about a month now and my follower list has gone from 20 to 334.   The missing link from my prior experience was the word "connect".  Twitter is all about connecting.  Instant connection.  140 character snippets of you.  I finally got it.  Now I love it and continually preach about it to anyone who will listen.   Someone, I think @problogger, said "Twitter is about now and Facebook is about the past" - I think he's right.

However, yes there is a however.   As much as I love Twitter, it has brought about all types of strange feelings which I haven't felt since school days.  I am quite a confident person, I have wonderful friendships and rarely in my real life do I feel these feelings any more.   

Perhaps it's just me?  Perhaps it's just a girl thing?   Let me explain.

  • I follow some really interesting and funny people who share common interests I have.  They also appear to have firm Twitter (and maybe real life) friendships with fellow Twitterers.  They are having a funny conversation - do I join in?  Is it rude?  If I do, will they DM each other and say "who does she think she is?"   So being me, I join in, sometimes I am included and other times there is deadly Twitter silence.  For the next 1/2 hour I beat myself up because I think I was too forward and these nice people think I'm a stalker or some kind of hangeronerer!   Remember at school when all the cool girls hung out together and if you tried to sit with them you weren't really included in the conversation.  No?  Maybe that only happened to me.  Oh dear - paranoid much!
  • Someone I like Tweeting with, gasp, horror, "unfollows" me.  OMG what have I done wrong?  I feel hurt.  I want to write and say "Why?  What did I do?  Don't you like me anymore?" but I can't because I can't DM them anymore.  I don't want to say this in the public Twittersphere because then everyone will think I'm a loser and just a weeny bit needy!  And ... paranoid much!
  • This one is a bit freaky but I'm going to put it out there - I am 47, but like I said in my Mojo post, I feel 30.  Most of my friends are 10 - 20 years younger than me - this is where I fit in better.  My online world appears to mirror my real world in that respect.  I enjoy Tweeting with the "yummy mummys" who are 10 - 20 years younger than I.  Then I worry; won't they think I'm odd?  Are they thinking - I wish this middle aged woman would leave us alone?  Who does she think she is?  We don't even find her funny!   Ok ... creepy and paranoid much!
  • And lastly, I really like tweeting with some people, but they hardly follow anyone, including me.   I wonder how I can get them to follow me.   I'd like to ask "why don't you want to follow me?" but again, I can't DM them and I don't want to appear "needy" by putting it out in the public arena.  So I tweet regularly with them.  Sometimes they tweet back, other times that deadly Twitter silence.  Then I worry I they might think me a stalker.  Yes, as feared, paranoid much!
This blog is scaring me ... I think I'm needy, paranoid and just plain creepy!

Yep, reading back over that, I'm not sure I want to post this blog.  However, I will (and you know I will spend the next hour freaking out about it, wondering how many followers I will lose on Twitter etc).  I will also be checking it every 5 minutes to see if anyone reads it or leaves comments.   OMG it's going to be a paranoid day - thank goodness I'm in meetings all afternoon!

Seriously though - these thoughts are fleeting, nevertheless they are there and I find it quite fascinating that Twitter of all things has stirred them up again.    Does anyone else ever feel this way ... or is it just me?   Someone please tell me how you feel ....  please!   (yep paranoid!)

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14 Responses
  1. Cate Bolt Says:

    Ha LOL You crazy paranoid, needy freak. Get over it.

    LOL seriously. I don't think many people don't have moments when they think "hey, why did I lose all those followers?" Eventually, you get over it and stop looking at how many followers you have each day.

    There are very obvious cliques on Twitter, and the Twitterscape changes regularly. People I tweeted with on a daily basis a month or so ago barely EVER speak to me anymore. I have a fairly good idea why this is, I think it's lame but it's human nature.

    You have to remember that Twitter is everything real people are, magnified by the veil of remote anonymity. People are 10 foot tall behind a monitor, and whatever character flaws they might have "IRL" are multiplied when they sit at the keyboard. There's no immediate accountability for their actions and words. They don't need to be polite, they can pretend they didn't see you, and they don't have to see the hurt in your eyes.

    If you have any questions about human nature, watch Twitter for a few weeks. You'll see the best and worst - a LOT quicker than you'll see it in real life.

    Oh and by the way, I had no idea you were so old - stay away from me. PMSL *eyeroll*

  2. Girl Clumsy Says:

    Ha! I'm so glad I'm not the only paranoid Tweeter. :)

    I always find you a kind and bubbly tweeter, so I wouldn't worry too much - of course easier said than done!

  3. Annie I love your blog it makes me laugh everytime I read it. I think you bring the same energy to Twitter as on your blog.

    I think you are one of the more interesting people on Twitter and I think that is great.

    Consistency is key and just being yourself.

    I do agree with you sometimes you get paranoid and think I wish I didn't do that as some people just don't respond when you try to interact. But after a while it gets easier and you take it a grain of salt

  4. Linda Says:

    A couple of months ago on Twitter I had my first 'teenage' moment in years. Just as you described, I (politely I think!) joined in a conversation only to be rebuffed. Or was I? I won't ever really know, which is why I came over all '13-with-my-first-Dolly-magazine'.

    So you're not alone! But I do think I've moved on and learned that Twitter magnifies both the good and the bad in people. I've tried to make sure none of my smartarse replies are ambiguous so I don't accidentally make someone else feel bad.

    All in all, decent life lessons for online and off!

    Thanks for the post Annie. I enjoyed it and I am liking getting to know a little more about you, tweet by tweet.

  5. I actually burst out laughing then. You are a funny lady and I love ya! You are not alone at all my friend. I get that feeling sometimes (actually lots!) but usually I don't give a f**k. I move on quickly. I have very thick skin and could not care less about what people thought of me. Unfollow, block, don't read...whateva! Their loss. I may have something really cool to say and they missed it LOL. I don't care if there are groups on twitter...I just push in. I LOVE twitter and I won't stop no matter what. And you better not stop either or I shall stalk you and get all creepy.

    Who cares about your age??? Geez you are way more interesting than half of the people my age anyway. It's what you have in common with someone that makes you click - not your age!

    I figure tweeting has taught me a hell of alot over the past few months. I am always rambling on to hubby about people's lives and experiences. I live in a small town and get bored very easily, so this outlet is rocking my socks! I am learning about myself and think I could start new relationships/business dealings in the next few months, just because I like to chat. How awesome is that?!

    And see, if you had not met me you would not have renewed this blog, rearranged you house....

    Stay with me girlfriend xxx

  6. Anonymous Says:

    You're a Champ!


  7. Gill Says:

    Loved your post Annie! I remember being a jibbering wreck in the beginning. I've now accidentally deactivated my Twitter account with approx. 1500 followers. Luckily I recently saved my followers in Excel spreadsheet and will somehow get them back onto my new account. Now I'm thinking, eeek, maybe they won't follow me again!? Oh no, paranoia!

    Aside from that, I chat to anyone I feel like chatting to and very often get ignored. Their loss I'm afraid:) As you mentioned, some happily chat but don't follow back. My solution is to unfollow them but keep them listed so that I can still follow their tweets and stalk them if needs be.:)

    The best solution to "Twitter Jitters" is, of course, a glass of RED wine or two! Three getting a bit risky as one tends to get a bit too OUTRAGEOUS with conservative Tweeps.

    Twitter Etiquette?? Whatever! Everyone has different reasons for being on Twitter and, aside from basic good manners, anything goes as they don't have to follow.

    @winewipes up and running soon !

  8. Julie-Ann Says:

    I am Roflmao. Great post Annie. I am obviously too insensitive as I have never had these feelings. There is one person on Twitter who talks to me very little now & I sometimes think Hmmm wonder why- then someone like you, Katrina or Gill come on & I forget all about that person.
    By the way I am 46 going on 32. I figure us old ducks can help these young chickies out with some advice on life's problems:)
    By the way Gill- yep I am not following you when you get back on you are too outrageous. Only joshing- we miss you.
    And I am a Twitterholic!

  9. Janelle Says:

    I LOVE your blog.

    I used to suffer Twitter paranoia a lot! Not long after I joined I fell into a yummy mummy group on Twitter. All absolutely lovely women from mid-30s to mid/late 40's. For the life of me, I couldn't work out why these women would be the least bit interested in me - a 35yo single lesbian and why they all started following me. I know nothing of kids. I love them but I can't tweet about nappy rash, sick kids, school runs, homework. I'm brash and loud and tweet way too much and am not backward in coming forward. I flirt with them all unashamedly (purely in fun)! Then one of my friends said to me, "You're probably a breath of fresh air to these women. Someone to talk to who won't be focused only on their kids and the routine they deal with every day." I asked a few of my tweeters and they said they agreed. So I felt better then.

    On the flipside of your concern when someone unfollows you - My current twitter issue is I've been following a couple of people who are nice but as time has passed I've realised I share little in common with and find them rather boring and annoying. I really WANT to unfollow them because frankly, when they tweet now I feel like replying with "shut up for goodness sake" but I know these people well enough to know unfollowing them would make them either upset, cranky or homicidal... possibly all three!

    So, the unfollow thing is hard from the other side too! And don't worry, you're not on my potential unfollow list!!! Not as long as you look like Michelle Pfeiffer ;o) Hehe!

  10. franksting Says:

    u r in that new adopter phase. Don't worry it goes away. Most of us who've been using twitter regularly for more than 12 months eventually realise that there is no point feeling anything when someone unfollows you. JUst keep on doing what you do, they may soon realise what they are missing. But you nailed at the start. For me, it is all about the connection. In fact I got all influenced by the relationships and wrote a blog post inspired initially by it back then

  11. Darren Hill Says:

    Nope, not a girl thing - unless I am secretly a girl.
    Great post

  12. Dovic Says:

    1. You are one of the nicest tweeters!
    2. Please don't tell me the ppl I tweet are in their 20's. Don't they have myspace or something?
    3. I was stoked to get to 100 followers but I'll be more stoked when I get to 300 plus like you :)
    4. Bloody wonderful post that captures what we probably all experience early on. I'm an early oner too. But an excited one :)

    Love your work xx

  13. allison t Says:

    OMG, I am right there with you. I angst over this stuff. Did I tweet too much, too forward, not enough, not funny... It's like being at a party where you don't really know anyone but know you have to mingle. But then there are those people who just really make the whole experience worthwhile... :-)

  14. Annieb25 Says:

    Wow. Thank you so much everyone for your amazing comments. I don't feel so alone in my paranoia anymore :) . We all love Twitter so much yet it causes us so much angst at the start. I guess it is human nature for us to want people to like us and it's no different on Twitter to real life situations. I think the key is to be myself and just the way it is in real life, some people will like me and some won't. I'm glad that I now now u all. Thank u xx