Twitter and Life (and how best to profit from both)!
Life, the Universe, and Twitter, all share an identical property. They are all phenomena which engage you while you remain firmly seated at the very centre of their massive, seemingly pre-Copernican, realms. This is the first in a series of short articles that I hope will somehow help you to profit from that placement; both in life and on Twitter. And yes(!) the profit could even extend to a very legitimate ‘GAIN IN TWITTER FOLLOWERS’. (Why do I feel dirty?)
In life it is easy to seem insignificant. In the Universe it is easy to seem insignificant. And on Twitter (unless you are Stephen Fry*) it is also easy to seem insignificant. What follows will help you to gain significance... (and Twitter followers... lots of them :S).
Start by watching this short video and listen carefully to the words of romantic philosopher Alan Watts:
The message is overtly pessimistic. It suggests that wherever you are heading in life, you will never get there, or at least that whenever you appear to have arrived, you will realise that it is not the real destination after all. Chasing the mirage of future happiness is what leads the middle-aged man to wake up feeling cheated.
Alan Watts does, however, provide a very simple solution, and that is to ‘live fully now’. This does not mean that you should forsake the future. Life certainly requires planning, most obviously for significant events, but these events merely shape the path of the present moment (where happiness resides) and it is this path that constantly surrounds you. The message is essentially to be mindful, and that, in more ways than one, is ‘the message of the moment’.
How does this idea of mindfulness relate to Twitter (...and where are all my new followers)?
All Twitterers must accumulate followers. This is quickly imprinted as the first law of Twitter not least because talking to oneself in public is never a good look. It is therefor imperative that hooks baited with either ‘good content’ or ‘follower-reciprocation’ are cast wide such that, with each new follower caught, a little dignity is preserved. As the keep net broadens, so too significance appears to be gained. The problem, however, is that significance is addictive, and these early fishing habits can prove hard to give up (especially as the ever-expanding net never really does fill up).
Think carefully about the number of followers you are aiming for. If you decide that your answer is ‘as many as possible’ then it is already clear that you will never get there. If, on the other hand, you have a specific number of followers in mind, perhaps one thousand, or a million (or, if you are Stephen Fry: fifty million**), ask yourself if you will really be satisfied at that number. As you approach it you will have become accustomed to that order of magnitude and it will seem far less impressive than it does presently. In this way Twitter-life easily becomes just another realm of continually chasing mirages.
The solution then, is not to dwell on all the fish-like followers that your bait will attract, but to dwell on the bait itself. The internet, like life, is cram packed full of fascinating knowledge and stunningly good images. Do not be too quick to reduce it all to the status of mere Twitter-fodder. Share by all means, but first take time to wonder at your own enlightenment. Enjoy what you have found fully before casting it into the River Twit (or the Face Brook). Believe me when I say that there is far more benefit to be gained by your immediate experience than ever will be gained by chasing the mirage of an implied significance. You are significant now.
Live fully now.
(And once you have considered this advice and its own significance, both to life and to the small fragment of it that is Twitter, then consider sharing this article with your followers. They already have a vested interest and any new followers you gain will now serve as a bonus!)
P.S. Just in case I actually promised new followers: try following @IDyball, I usually follow back, and am legitimate!
Footnotes (completely superfluous)
*For those across the pond, substitute all references to ‘Stephen Fry’ with ‘Justin Bieber’ (which just goes to show what a massive pond it really is)!
**For those applying ‘Justin Bieber’ substitution, also substitute ‘fifty million’ for ‘one zilion’ (sic)
@justinbieber: ‘the pond’ refers to the big lot of water between USA and UK
@stephenfry: the origins of the expression ‘across the pond’ can be edited here.