Dating the Bird: Notes From My Relationship with Twitter

Twitter Birds, Close Up

Photo via

After a year of dating Twitter and several short breaks-ups, I think I’ve come to what I believe is healthy understanding of how to have a positive and lasting relationship with this bird.

Here are a few of my findings:

Don’t be offended…Twitter will forget about you and tune you out
Understand that Twitter follows that “out of sight, out of mind” rule. If you don’t interact with people and add content regularly, they’re going to forget about you.  Similarly, if your content sucks, people will tune you out.

Twitter doesn’t fall apart and watch Saved By The Bell re-runs if you leave it
Much to my ego’s disappointment, it was ok for me to take extended breaks.  Twitter was fine without my brilliance.

Twitter will always leave you a piece of pie in the fridge
Interesting posts, and conversation threads tend to have longevity on Twitter.  I’ve seen some posts circulate as Re-tweets up to three weeks.  There is none of that, “wait…what did I miss?”

Don’t make hard and fast rules about how or how often you fraternize with Twitter
Needs change. Some days you may have nothing useful to add to the conversation and just need to lurk around.  That’s ok. Other times, you’ll have a lot to say. Use Twitter when and in a way that is productive for meeting your needs.

Don’t forget to make time for your friends/colleagues
Sometimes, what happens on Twitter is a great deal more engaging and productive than what’s happening in your immediate surroundings. Still, it’s important to maintain face-to-face relationships. A good question to ask yourself is, “Would I be content with my surroundings if Twitter were to suddenly disappear?”

Push beyond a fling for deeper connection
It’s easy to have a superficial relationship with Twitter. But, I’ve found that the more face-to-face (tweep-ups, skype, hangouts etc) and collaborations I’ve participated in, the more enthusiastic I feel about the time I spend on Twitter. Real connection takes effort though and won’t just happen without you making the first move.






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4 Responses to Dating the Bird: Notes From My Relationship with Twitter

  1. Well said. That is all.

  2. Katie Hellerman says:

    Thanks Jabiz

  3. bill says:

    Great advice! On a separate note, I’m thinking about changing careers – I work in advertising as a copywriter – and I’m considering teaching. Any advice?

  4. Katie Hellerman says:

    Glad you liked it Bill. As far as making a career switch to teaching….I think the first thing you should do is work on your “why.” Teacher’s don’t make a lot of money and they often get a hard time every day, you need to have a really compelling reason to teach. A good start might be to spend some time at schools and see if it’s what you think it is.

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