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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

  1. One Good Reason to Stay Alive

    February 12, 2017 by Diane

    Praying Woman

    On Twitter, I saw this plea:

    Could someone please suggest reasons it’s a good idea I should keep being alive?

    Reasons to keep being alive. In 140 characters.

    This was a challenge I couldn’t pass up.

    Chocolate. If you’re thinking of checking out, you won’t be taking your taste buds. So stick around for chocolate.

    Okay, I didn’t tweet that. There was nothing humorous about the tweeter’s question, although sometimes humor can be the lifeline we need when drowning in despair.

    I knew of a comedian who worked the suicide prevention hotline, and when asked “Give me one  good reason I should stay alive,” he told the caller, “Give me a break. You called me.”


    Isn’t it interesting, the plea is always the same? Give me a reason to stay alive. Because being alive, in and of itself, isn’t reason enough. Being alive, for the person pleading, has become too horrible to endure.

    What we really want, when we’re that desperate, is a reason to endure the pain.

    I heard Bruce Lipton, the author of The Biology of Belief, say: we live in order to experience life through our senses, for God. (Or something along those lines. I jotted the phrase in the back of the book, but the book is stashed away, along with about a hundred others, in storage.)

    If indeed it’s our duty to experience what God can’t, that seems like a pretty swell reason to stay alive.

    Provided you believe in God.

    And provided you accept that experiencing life sometimes involves the sense of pain.

    I read recently: to strengthen and build muscles, we need to tax them, break them down a bit, give them time to recuperate, then tax them again. That’s how they grow.

    It’s the same with people. We’re given circumstances that tax us and break us down. If we take time to recuperate, then we build our strength and grow with each new challenge.

    Now, I could come up with a long list of good reasons that are meaningful to me and don’t mean squat to the person on Twitter. But somewhere in her vast file cabinet of life experiences there’s one thing that matters. Deeply.

    If I had more than 140 characters, or we were talking on the phone or in person, I might have said: “Instead of thinking about ending it all, sort through your memory banks, or take a look around you, and track down that one thing that matters. By the time you find it, whatever brought you to despair will have shifted. Just enough, so the light can shine in.”

    But this person chose to plead for her life on Twitter. So I replied:

    Don’t choose a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The pain will pass. You’re meant to contribute something positive to this world.

    Last I checked, the tweeter did find a good reason: she chose to start painting again. That one thing, painting, helped crack open the darkness.

    If you ever find yourself backed into a corner feeling like your only option is to throw in the life towel, please please please remember this: that one thing—whether it’s your spouse, your kid, your parent, your sibling, your friend, your cat, your art, your dream, or that philodendron in the windowsill—it needs you.

    Then drive down to See’s Candies, pick out a luscious piece of chocolate, and savor it. For God.

  2. Feeling socially awkward? Take some tips from Twitter

    April 26, 2015 by Diane

    Twitter bird

    Twitter is a hugely popular social media site. There’s something appealing about schmoozing with total strangers in 140 character increments. As an introvert, it fits my comfort level.  But what about face-to-face interactions? Could Twitter teach the socially-awkward something about communicating in person? Based on what I’ve observed on the site, here are my top ten do’s and don’ts for making a connection in the flesh.

    1 Do get to the point when talking. With 140 characters, there’s little room for idle chit-chat. On behalf of introverts everywhere, I’ve decided to make this a rule. Get to the point. Nobody wants to hear everything going on in your head. Just the highlights.

    2. Don’t share highly personal information with people you don’t know. Would you approach a group of strangers and blurt out the details about your parents’ divorce? Would you turn to the person squeezed next to you on the subway and tell them you have a cyst on your ovary? No. Why? Because they don’t know you. And they don’t know what to do with that information. It’s best to keep your interactions with strangers light, funny, or helpful. Don’t bleed in the lap of someone you’ve just met.

    3. Don’t expect to have meaningful conversations when you’re in a room packed with 1,650 people who are all shouting at the same time.

    4. Do shut up occasionally, and wander amongst those 1,650 people, and listen. When you hear something interesting (and you will, eventually), tag the person who said it, draw them to the side, and respond.

    5. Don’t approach every person you meet, tell them you’ve just published a book and it’s available on Amazon, and then walk away. People will start to avoid you.

    6, 7 and 8. Do expect to capture the attention of, oh, say a publisher, if you have 5,000 people following you around every day. Especially if they’re eager to pay for whatever wisdom you choose to emit. But don’t pretend that you know anything about those 5,000 people, except maybe the dozen disciples in the closest proximity who can actually hear what you’re saying. Those stragglers in the back? They’re eventually going to stop following you, because hey, where’s the joy in following someone you can’t even see or hear? Don’t take it personally when those stragglers disappear.

    9. Don’t expect to feel nourished when walking past a line of people who have exactly one second to tell you something important.  That’s about as fulfilling as trying to read a constantly changing Twitter feed. Real nourishment comes from having a one-on-one conversation, sharing meaningful ideas.

    10. Don’t be surprised if people take offense when they can’t engage you in conversation. As an equivalent to lining up tweets on HootSuite, theoretically you could wake up early, leave a voicemail or text on the cell phone of everyone you know, and assume that at some point during the day, probably while you’re working your nine-to-five desk job, they’ll hear that message. Alternatively, you could place a cardboard cutout of yourself on every street corner, spouting a tape-recorded monologue. While this technique may be highly appealing to introverts, it doesn’t foster a connection with others. Still, it’s highly appealing. On second thought, let’s make this a do.