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WWW.LIZASPERLING.COM

 

I think this is authenticity backlash, or the result of a semi-public sphere going mainstream. Now that Twitter has attracted a larger audience, there is a sense that Big Brother has entered the room, and he is not going away anytime soon. Big Brother has many of us on edge, questioning and defending Twitter (and ourselves). Corporations and celebrities are using and misusing Twitter and then publicizing its flaws. Trolls are multiplying beyond Twitter’s ability to quash them, and they are amping up their efforts to incite negative reactions. With so many people looking for chinks in the armor, should we be surprised that they have found them? It is only logical that increased scrutiny makes authenticity more difficult, but I am not ready to throw in the towel.

Online authenticity is a new phenomenon, and we are just now exploring it’s complexities. Each of us has the option to self-censor, to protect our reputations and public identities. Personally I am unwilling to spend my time honing my tweets to ensure that they are morsels of perfection. I propose that we accept the inevitable trade-off that online authenticity demands. Online communication is a medium that lends itself to misunderstandings, and if you increase the size of the network, the rate of misunderstandings is likely to increase.

Let’s take responsibility and remind ourselves that many of us opt-in to Twitter to be ourselves and to interact with others eager to do the same. This only works if we agree to follow a simple rules: debate without personalizing, respect others’ personal boundaries, don’t take yourself or others too seriously, own up to screw ups, etc…basic golden rules, right? The kicker is to also accept that each of us will break these rules from time to time, because we are, after all, human. Authenticity requires acknowledging human imperfections including crappy moods, hot tempers, dropping F-bombs, drunk tweets, occasional stupidity, the list goes on…

Do you really want to hold a grudge, seek revenge and remain grumpy or recognize that growing pains are an inevitable part of Twitter (and each of us) growing up? Let’s admit, it is getting crowded in here, but there is still plenty of room for each of us. It’s okay to be grumpy, I was when I started writing, but I feel better already. The note in the movie, Juno, said it best: If you’re still in, I am in. I will end this as I end and begin most conversations, with a question: Are you in? WWW.LIZASPERLING.COM, Jun 2009

See the interesting comments and discussions generated at my blog: lizasperling.com –  working on getting everything integrated on one platform, but until then, please be patient. Thanks, Liza

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  1. October 9, 2009 at 5:50 pm

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