This post originally appeared in an old blog of mine.
I like social media. I use it for fun and for business. I use it to connect with people, trade thoughts, open doors, and enrich my world IRL (In Real Life).
I use Twitter the most of all my Web profiles. Its 140-character limit encourages thought condensation. Twitter forces you to crack the shell and present just the essence of your message.
What Most People Look for Online
Enrichment. People go online to enrich their lives – and the lives of others, believe it or not – through knowledge, information, interaction, creation and commerce.
People want to feel as though they are not just wasting time and energy staring at a computer screen and tapping away at buttons. Activity does not equal experience. Those who go online to waste time just haven’t found what they are looking to experience. It’s easy to get caught up in virtual distractions and aimless Web wandering.
We need realness. Texture. A pulse.
On Twitter specifically, we need you to be more genuine. We need to feel as though your tweets are popping off the screen and changing who we are in some small way.
How to be more genuine? Put another way, how can you be more you, online?
The Real World
The first thing you need to understand is that the real world – the offline world – is better than anything you can find online. The five senses are paramount. Understand this, and you will bring a vibrancy to your Twitter persona that 95% of users miss out on.
I spend a lot of time online. But I’m a multi-tasker, as they say. I walk a lot. I talk with real people wherever I go. I’m outgoing. I look at the world. As I write this, I see mountains to my right, and a clear blue sky above. The weather is chilly for a Southern California April, about 60 degrees. Music is playing on the speakers here at this ma-and-pa coffee shop. “Hearts of Fire.” Traffic rolls on all around me. People get in and out of their cars.
Real life is what you want to share online. Avoid getting caught up in link bait (the gratuitous sharing of links), and other self-referential treasure hunts leading nowhere.
How to Be Genuine
Be you. Be a thinking person. Be a philosopher. A humorist, an observer, a communicator, a mother, a musician, a Costco employee. Be what you are, and strive towards what you wish you were. Reach out to people. Share what you are feeling for real. Tell the world where you’re at, what you are doing. The mundane details of life, the amazing revelations that occur to you through your senses or through your soul.
Share multi-media when appropriate. Direct friends and acquaintances to things online that you find amusing or useful or moving.
But be always on the lookout for the genuine. Don’t be afraid to say something controversial. There is too much self-policing going on both online and offline. We don’t need self-censorship, because that is boring and useless. We need genuine thoughts.
We need you to be yourself. If you do that, people will flock to you. We’re all hungry for the genuine.