Tuesday, 16 September 2014

demotivating twitter

Each morning I take a look at my Twitter timeline over a cup of tea. It's a quick way of catching up with the news, picking up links to stories and blogs I might want to read later and seeing who is up and about. There are a few people who I look out for because they usually have something interesting or funny to say. Check my timeline and see who I frequently RT if you want to know to whom I'm referring. And then there are the celebrities.

I started following some of the celebs when I was new to Twitter and thought it might be interesting to see how they engaged with this fresh social media environment. Experience tells me that they fall into two categories; those who use Twitter as a tool of self-promotion and those who use Twitter to engage with others. I won't bother to name the former as anyone who has been on Twitter for a while will know who fits into this category and from time to time I cull the more tedious ones. In the latter category I would place several well know authors who are prepared to interact and answer questions including Ian Rankin (I'm a big Rebus fan), Susan Hill (scary writer & MUFC fan) and Archdruid Eileen (no further comment necessary).

Then there is another group of tweeters who I have come to regard as Christian celebrities. These are well known Christian personalities who it turns out engage with Twitter in much the same way as their secular contemporaries. There are those whose timelines seem to be full of little more than self-promotion: 'you can watch me on this', 'here's me with X, Y or Z'. Then there are those who fire epithets into the twittersphere with monotonous regularity but hardly ever engage in dialogue with others. More recently some of this group have taken to sharing with us what are little more than inane motivational clich├ęs often on the theme of leadership or self improvement.
Usually this stuff is so fatuous it would make David Brent cringe or a Sun sub-editor blush. It's interesting to see how many of these tweeters have given up referencing the Bible for their world redefining insights, probably because you aren't going to find gobbets like 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail' in the scriptures. If I seem to be harsh about this it is because I genuinely find some of this stuff damaging and offensive and I despair when I hear this rubbish repeated as if it is holy writ. It is revealing to read these pearls of wisdom before going across to morning prayer and encountering a meaty chunk of the Psalms.

Of course there are those who are able to summarise in 140 characters a profound and often challenging insight. Others have the skill of being able to get to the heart of an issue and shed a new light on it from a Christian perspective with a telling phrase. Some are gifted at communicating in a sentence or two reflections of deep spiritual import or distilling a passage of scripture into a nugget of wisdom to live by. Others simply brighten the day with a joke or link to a funny cartoon. Again I guess anyone who has been on Twitter for a while knows who these people are but if you want one example of a person who communicates with spiritual maturity and humanity check out @Digitalnun.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to be the best that I can be by pushing the boat out from the shore and searching for the hero inside of me.

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