Monday, 14 May 2012

Tweeting with a Tortoise

People sometimes ask me why I "waste time" on Twitter. I wonder if those same people have ever "wasted time" chatting with a neighbour over the garden fence. Humans are social animals [most of us anyway!] and Twitter is the perfect tool to satisfy that sociability. As @RosalindAdam I can chat with anybody, anywhere at any time of day or night - bliss! These people might be writers, friends, locals, or someone living on the other side of the world. They might even not be people.

Take yesterday... I found myself leaning against the virtual fence passing the time with a tortoise. Now I have to admit that this was an accident. I didn’t at first realise that she was a tortoise but I started to have my suspicions and so I clicked on her profile and sure enough, there she was @LuLubelleTlocation The Garden.
My conversations are not always as frivolous. There are so many fascinating people out there that I couldn't possibly list them all but I've picked out a few to show you what I mean:

Late Night Advice:
During the A to Z challenge I often tweeted late at night with Anne at @cassam101 We ran similar nostalgia posts and towards the end we were starting to wilt.
      “Help! Can't think of nostalgic smell for Y? Mind gone blank!!” I tweeted at her one night.
      She tweeted straight back with "How about Yardley's Talc. My mum always used it."
     “You’re a star!" I tweeted. “I can go to sleep now.” 
We tweeted each other a quick "good night" and I turned off my phone. How else would I have got that support at almost midnight while sitting up in bed sipping my hot chocolate? Thanks Anne.

Coffee mornings:
If I've been bashing the computer keys all morning and it's about 11 am I know that on Twitter this is #elevensestime. I can share coffee, cake [the virtual kind so no calories!] and a quick catch up with Paul at @cyteen02 and all the other #elevensestime folk.

UK Contacts:
Not so long ago I was tweeting with @mariaAsmith, a local writer who I also know in 'real' life, about trying to find more UK writers on Twitter so we can exchange information about writing opportunities, competitions, conferences etc. We devised the #ukwriters hashtag and, thanks mainly to @mariaAsmith 's hard work it's now going strong.

Making friends:
It's not all about work. I've found out a bit of what it's like to be an expat living in Lanzarote from @paulinembarclay. I not only get regular weather reports from her [especially when it's steaming hot there and freezing cold here] but also lots of hairy licks [the virtual, non-doggy-breath variety!] from her lovely dogs.  

Mutual support:
I've celebrated people's publishing successes with them as well as providing a listening ear when they have concerns and problems and they've done the same for me. 

Friends at my fingertips:
I've caught up with old friends and got to know new ones without out-staying my welcome, running up phone bills or travelling to far-off lands.

So don't knock Twitter. It's one of the many positive outcomes to emerge from this new technological world of ours. Oh yes, there is one more positive use apparently...

Keeping tabs on me:
My daughter tells me that she only has to check my twitter account to find out what I've been up to each day! Hmmm! Must bear that in mind before I tweet in future!


  1. I sometimes forget that twitter is a worldwide audience. It makes me wonder at times, who is listening.

  2. I completely agree. Twitter is there 24/7 and there's always someone to chat to, someone to take your mind off your troubles etc. those who don't get it, have simply never given it a chance.

    CJ x

  3. Brilliant post, it made me smile and think of many fab conversations over the virtual fence :)

  4. I agree completely and you won't be surprised if I tell you I have a draft post about twitter waiting to be finished. My husband got to know your name well during the A to Z challenge and I enjoyed having someone to sound off to. I sometimes don't sleep well and there's always someone on twitter at anytime. None of my friends in the real world write or are even interested so I value the support I get from my twitter friends.

  5. What an interesting post. I've never used Twitter that way. Might have to give it a try and see who answers back. : )

  6. I've only recently discovered you and 1) am tickled to get your Twitter ID so I can follow you and 2) have never succeeded much in conversations, I'm in awe!

  7. I opened a Twitter page ages ago and only used it a few times, but now I have a blog there are 2 people following me on Twitter. No idea how that happened but the tech world is still mostly a mystery to me. I spend more time than I should on it as it is without getting into Twitter as well!

  8. It's wonderful being able to share normal things, I'm @1ManBandAccts on Twitter, please come say hello and share which kind of cake is your favourite :)

  9. Thanks for your lovely comment - all of your readers are welcome to join us for a mid morning break at 11 (UK time) Just post a little hello tweet including the word #elevensestime, and search for #elevensestime to see who is around :) @cyteen02

  10. I'm not on Twitter, but I don't consider it a waste of time for the many writers who use it. I just wouldn't know where to start, and I have a hard enough time sitting at my keyboard as it is. Maybe one day...

  11. Good for you. I'm "on" Twitter, but I'm rarely ON it, if you know what I mean. Maybe one of these days. To tell the truth, it kinda tickles me to have people keep signing up to follow me, when I don't ever do any leading.

  12. Good summary! I love twitter for those quick, casual conversations and check ins! Fun :)

  13. You make it sounds so fun, Rosalind. But I am still resisting. I'm afraid I may never get any writing done.

  14. Hi Ros .. I've got an account - but don't use .. I will sometime I know - but for now .. I'm happy in blogger land, and email world and am content seeing my life flow quietly without phones, tweets et al!! I love socialising and can't wait to get back to it .. and then I shall find out all the fun things tweeting offers .. cheers Hilary

  15. I must check twitter out again. I've neglected it lately with the challenge. I'll see if I can join #ukwriters.

  16. I also enjoy twitter. It's great to be able to share interesting things I've read or heard with other people.
    It helps keep me in touch with both friends and also people in involved in the fields about which I write.
    I've often got tweets that have led to articles.


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