I didn’t know that losing my virginity would be so disappointing and humiliating. It was also necessary.
I was a twitter virgin
I’m no internet prude, nor do I have a social media or Twitter aversion but for years, I resisted temptation and peer pressure to jump in bed with all the other twitter users.
Deep down, I always knew I would eventually join the gaggle of twitters users and JUST DO IT.
I just didn’t know when that time would be.
My Wildly Naïve Imagination
Tonight would be THE night. I was ready and willing.
Everyone was doing IT, so It had to be good
Even though I was a Twitter virgin, I did have an idea of how things worked, what went where, what buttons to push and how often to do it. Nevertheless, I was still nervous. After all, it would be my FIRST time.
On the night I was to lose my Twitter-Ginity, I closed my eyes and imagined what my first twitter experience would be like.
Would it be magical, exciting and full of potential?
I was so sure there would be many late night conversations sharing short, concise, meaningful bursts of messages no more than 140 characters long.
I was equally sure that the fear I felt now, the newness of tweeting would turn into a wonderful relationship and I would eventually feel comfortable and fall in love with Twitter.
I would soon find out that I was half right.
There I sat in my room staring at my computer screen.
“No time like the present”
I went to the twitter homepage, clicked the signup button and twitter lead me through the process of setting up my new twitter account step by step. Slowly, I revealed myself to twitter. Screen after screen I was exposing more of myself and before I knew it, it would be too late to turn back and the deed would be done.
( First Base) Signup Process
NAME; I typed A-N-N-I-E A-N-D-R-E. That was easy.
USER NAME; I typed AnnieAndre but twitter didn’t like that name because there was already a user with that name. “DAMN”. I tried to think of another identifiable name for my twitter persona. Different variations of my name with numbers, extra letters and finally, I settled on @AnnieAndreHacks. (go ahead and follow me)
“YES!” Twitter liked that one so I claimed it as my own Twitter user name. I could always change it to something different.Twitter is easy that way.
PASSWORD: I typed in a secret code no one else could figure out. It was our little secret between me and Twitter.
Finally, I pressed the ENTER key and my new twitter account was created.
Dressing up my account and making it sexy
Like attracting bees to honey, I had to make my account look good to tantalize other twitter users to “FOLOW ME”. If I didn’t attract followers, I would be tweeting into the nothingness of Twitter and all would be for NOT.
For a split second, I felt a twinge of angst and I wondered “who would ever want to follow me?” I shook it off and continued on.
(Second Base )The Photo
I had to replace the bland default egg avatar and upload my own profile photo that would capture the essence, persona I wanted to show.
In my opinion, users who use the default egg are “egg heads” for not taking the time to at least upload something more representative of themselves, their business or website. I would not follow an egg and I imagine others must feel the same. So always upload a photo. Don’t be an egghead.
(Third Base )The Biography / Description
I added a Bio that described a little about myself. I wanted to let others know what kind of tweets they could expect of me while revealing a little bit about me and my personality. This was deceitfully difficult, since I had to say all this in less than 160 characters.
After dozens of iterations, I finally settled on my twitter bio, picture and added my website address so people could visit my website.
On The Hunt
All the pieces were in place. Now I needed to find people to follow. I had no clue who to follow so I used the twitter search feature to find people.
I searched for families who like to travel by typing “Travel With Family” in the twitter search box. It yielded a few interesting twitter accounts. so I followed them.
A few of the people whom I followed, followed me back. WOW! It can’t be that easy! Can it?
I was excited. I had a few followers now, my profile was filled out with a short clever bio and I had a photo that I was satisfied with.
I was ready to tweet. Everyone following me would see my tweets. And I was sure I would experience the magic of twitter that everyone was raving about. I couldn’t wait to be sending and receiving multiple tweets with multiple partners day and night or whenever my heart desired…….
(Homerun? Third Base? ) FIRST TWEET
I had no idea what to say my first time. In fact, I can’t even remember what my first tweet said. I just know it was something awkward like “HELLO” or “Check out my website”.
I cringe at the thought of those first tweets..
Nevertheless, the deed was done. I was no longer a twitter virgin. Strangely, I didn’t feel any different.
The Morning After
Like a homely girl sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring, I waited for the onslaught of tweets, mentions and Direct Messages from other twitter users to come my way.
NOTHING! Days passed, then weeks. I started tweeting for the sake of tweeting. I tweeted randomly about anything and nothing. Inconsistent tweets about diverse unrelated topics. I followed more people because I knew a large part of those people would follow me back. It didn’t mean anything, it felt empty and meaningless.
Still Nothing. No one was re-tweeting my tweets.
Where was the magic?
Several months after my first tweet, I finally gave up.
I just didn’t get it. What was all the fuss?
Twitter is stupid!
What is the point?
Twitter is a waste of time!!
I have better things to do with my time
Social Media Envy
Despite feeling slighted by Twitter, I still wanted IN. I thought, maybe I just did it wrong,
On Twitter, everyone seemed to be having meaningful conversations. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing. Yet there I sat, alone, jealous and yearning. I had “SOCIAL MEDIA ENVY” in the worst way but I was frozen with fear. I let my twitter account sit idle for over a year.
Alone on my island isolated from everyone on the Internet from my customers, from like minded people. I lurked secretly in the dark alleys of Twitter and blogs. I didn’t interact with anyone. I became a social media wallflower and a VOYEUR.
This was pure Hell.
I didn’t know it but I was about to go from scary twitter voyeur and stalker to sexy twitter networker.
MY TWITTER EPIPHANY
Around February of 2011, a year after I first started tweeting, I had a conversation with someone who gave me some solid advice that made it all begin to click. Admittedly, it didn’t click right away, because that would be far too easy. This person said “Twitter is about personal relationships and building a community”.
She told me to find a handful of users to follow who were in my niche, get to know them, introduce myself and take it from there.
I thought to myself “HUH? That’s it?”.
I think under normal circumstances I would have smiled politely and dismissed what seemed to be an overly simplistic explanation. I didn’t though because Tara is one smart business woman and she’s kind of a rock star in the DIY handmade community and social media scene so I kind of COULDN’T ignore her.
Well, I could have but that would have been idiotic. Like refusing the business advice of Bill Gates or something.
How I Fell In Love With Twitter
I ditched my fears and tried to forget my first experience and decided to give Twitter a second chance based on Tara’s advice.
I started very small and took things slowly this time. I decided I wanted to go for quantity over quality.
First, I un-followed a bunch of people who I previously followed but had no interest in conversing with.
Second, I found five people who really interested me on a personal level. I loved their bio, I liked their past tweets and most of all I enjoyed their websites.
Third, I started reading their websites, re-tweeting their tweets, commenting on their blogs and before I knew it, they were re-tweeting my tweets and commenting on my blogs.
It’s all about Relationships
I actually feel a connection with these people. So much so that I started to follow some of the people that THEY were following.
Now I have a small network of about 30 people I regularly tweet with, comment with and converse with. And it’s been all the difference in the world.
I am absolutely over the moon about Twitter and all the things I can do with twitter. I have a small community of followers who are fast becoming friends. Real friends. I know it may seem hard to believe that someone I have never met can become a friend. But it’s true.
I have found that we tend to reveal more about ourselves, and are more transparent when we write. It happened expectantly.
It took failing the first time around and It was entirely worth it. I no longer think of twitter as a thing I use to get more followers. Rather, Twitter is a way for me to really connect with other people. People who inspire me, people who I can inspire. People to learn from, connect with.
If you haven’t given twitter a try, get a little adventurous and go try it now. If you had a bad experience the first time, start over and try it again. This time take a practical approach and start small like it did. Choose five people whose blogs you like, or do a keyword search and find people who tweet about subject matter you like.
You can even follow me on twitter @AnnieAndreHacks. I blog about living in France. So say hi and introduce yourself. I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised like I was.
UPDATE Twitter and I broke up.
Yes it’s true. I still see and use Twitter from time to time but we are just acquaintances now. I discovered that we did not have that much in common and have moved on to Facebook and a little Instagram. It’s ok though. it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.