In the Light of What I Have Chosen To Be
This morning I read a tweet that said, “We are not defined by twitter.” I thought about that for a minute…. and found myself disagreeing with the core of what he was trying to say.
The whole story is this…… @daveramsey sometimes like to get into little one-liner matches with people who wish to argue with him. Haha. I think it’s mostly sport for him, but every once and a while there’s an interesting truth or lesson to be drawn from the exchanges. This was one of those times.
It started when @daveramsey tweeted, “If you have thousands of tweets and 7 followers what does that mean?”
A local Nashvillian responded, “Absolutely nothing. We are not defined by twitter.”
At first glance, most people would agree with this statement. We hate the idea of our identity being dictated to us by an outside entity, be it a corporation, social network, government, or anything outside our control. This is understandable. I completely agree with the sentiment that WE decide what defines us.
However, the core of what he’s saying is “What I say on Twitter doesn’t matter. It doesn’t define who I am.”, and I have to emphatically disagree with that………….. but we do agree that defining ourselves is important, right?
So then, the obvious big question is:
How do we go about defining ourselves?
I believe, and I think most people would agree, that it’s by our actions… our behavior.
If I’m kind to people, a hard worker, self-reliant, resourceful, and honest…. I am choosing to define myself by those traits. If I’m cruel, lazy, a mooch, unimaginative, and dishonest, I am choosing to define myself by THOSE traits. Either way, people will see me in the light of what I have chosen to be.
I’ve heard the phrase “Actions speak louder than words.” a million times, and I can’t help but feel that this catchphrase is unrealistic.
Words ARE actions.
When you speak, you’re communicating ideas to others, and those ideas can either build or destroy, just like actions can. They can be powerful.
Your words are part of the fabric of what you are choosing to be.
So when it comes to twitter, facebook, and other social networks….. I agree that they don’t define you in and of themselves. I agree that no CEO in a suit (or in this case, Adidas flip-flops) can tell you who you are… and no, I don’t think that your number of followers defines you either.
However, the definition of YOU is still up to you. What you say on these social networks is an extension of who you are. Words ARE actions. I’m not saying that you need to treat every tweet like a press release… but I am saying, in all things…. be true to what it is you want to be.
Be true to your definition of you.
If you’re a wonderful person in real life, you will be a wonderful person on Twitter.
If you’re a miserable person in real life, you will be a miserable person on Twitter….
…and you might end up with more enemies than friends, both online and off.