Thursday, October 1, 2009

What's a Twitter?

If my son had come home from school asking this question, I would have likely believed his school friends had come up with yet another expletive. Or there was going to be some required homework on my part, in order to answer him. *grin* Something I often found myself doing during my children’s high school years.

But he’s 24, and as he hovers over my shoulder in baited curiosity, I laugh at his response as I show him my Tweet deck in all its buzzing glory. “Wow, What IS that?” he gasped. Prior to this moment, I had been subjected to all manner of assumptions about my online activities of late, having been too busy on Twitter to bother trying to explain, which would also require further diagnostics for my own self discovery regarding it.

By the way, It was quite novel for anyone to see me glued to the computer, the telephone no, they were used to that. Being an extremely social person and having had a high profile career most their life, my children were unfortunately subjected to my constant barrage of phone activity. While my work and my writing often found me at the computer before, they were curious to see me now so engaged in laughter and intensity. So in order to refute what otherwise would have been left to imagination and to avoid additional inquiry, I stopped everything (as mothers do) mid stream, and attempted to explain.

When I got past the quirky tools, the system dialogues, rules of 140 characters or less, and novelty of celebrity interactions; I showed him how Twitter is an online community full of some of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege to meet. There is heart, etiquette, understanding, compassion and caring which all took me quite by surprise.

I happened upon it purely on a fluke. Having gotten laid off my job in the entertainment industry. I thought it might be a good resource to network and find possible future employment. I had no idea I would find a life! By this I don’t mean a virtual life, because much of it has more meaning than that.

Intention is everything in all things. People can feel the intentions of others through time, space and distance. Twitter is no exception to this rule. The intentions of support and caring bleed through the cyber box and into real time, real life experiences for all of us. Twitter has become a tool for us to connect not only with people we may not have otherwise met, but to also cultivate awareness of issues for all of humanity. People all over the globe are coming together in these exchanges in order to communicate and assist hard and meaningful change for others. From celebrities, wealthy socialites to the homeless, they all have a voice. Many are championing causes on behalf of the sick and those affected by catastrophic life events. Some are mentors who bother to take the time to share their life experiences in hopes of making a difference.

I started out cautiously with mere funny banters with others a little at a time. As I began to friend some truly gifted and amazing people I became less leery and more revealing about myself and my personal interests. To my ultimate surprise, others appreciated my contributions of flavor and in site which had not otherwise been apparent to me.

I must also say, it took being apart of this community to realize how disconnected and unaware I really was even through all of my own life experience. The difference Twitter has made for me was the broad spectrum perspective of communal effort. The people I engage with are without prejudice or discrimination and are open and welcoming on all fronts. Rarely this is found in our neighborhoods, schools or work places.

Though the Twitter community is no stranger to controversies, the choices afforded about them expand globally. Each user initiates their own level of responsibility according to their own ability and resources as well as the life experiences they bring. Culminating active and worthy solutions for others in doing so and often finding resolve. Even bridging real life communities in some cases one tweet at a time.

While my friends there have often seen me refer to myself as the-girl-box, in initial jest, I have had to back step my own poke in fun at this. It amused me at one point to coin the phrase, but after having the opportunity to cultivate my own friendships that are truly meaningful to me, I have since realized there really is no box. It is a soulful transmitter, reaching hearts, connecting dots beyond a time and space continuum in higher purpose.

So, no sweet son, it is not a glorified chat room. Though I couldn't have told you what a chat room looked like until now, for now I am often lead by the hand to chat rooms from friends here for all manner of reasons. Charity events and fund raisers, blog radio shows and the like. I have even lead others to fun things as well, that some have found delight in.

The one thing I've neglected to say is there is pure love with those whom I have found on Twitter. Pure and unconditional. In our world of technological rampage, economical downturns, and societal breakdowns, there is something wonderful this way comes in cyber world. Authenticity can be found in anything you bring authenticity to. Like attracts what is like minded in the physical world, as well it does in what appears to be a virtual world.
A profound blessing for me is to now see the difference I can make with my energy and contributions.

A cord was struck in me long forgotten until recently. As a young girl I was a "wave the banner" kind of girl. Attending "No Nukes" at the Hollywood Bowl on what was called Survival Sundays and "Save the Whales" events were a regular part of my routine. When life changes occurred, I sadly had to put down my banners and attend to my own survival. Now as a direct result of being a viral part of the Twitter community, dear friends are not only helping me to heal old wounds but showing me how I can help heal others. So I'm personally blessed to have an opportunity to soon pick up my banners again, but now on a much more universal scale. As a matter of fact something very important is about to come out of me that may have the potential to help a lot of other people. Not something I would have ever expected to happen.

So, what's a twitter? Not a video game, honey. Nor a toy to be played with or taken for granted. It is a place where lives come together to share in hope, in love and inspiration that once upon a time didn't have this platform. It is a place where people honor and respect each other no matter what walk of life they come from or where they are going. We can't help being drawn to it. Some of us, me included can't help our obsession with it. Twitter Name: @SchuggaJoy

Where ever it is friendships are born so sacred is the meeting place.
After all, we are all only human. ~djs



  1. Beautifully written, Debra. I value you as a dear "twend," who, if & when we ever meet in person will be a dear old FRIEND. xo

  2. Your Tweets always bring a smile to my face. Your post describes Twitter both in perfect style and with heart - just like you are yourself. @Ndege :)