by Briana Campbell (@MsMatchGirl)
The other night I went to see Chuck Klosterman in conversation with Rob Sheffield in Brooklyn. The conversation was to promote the paperback edition of Klosterman’s latest book of pop culture musings, so, inevitably, the talk turned to Twitter.
While you can follow Klosterman in the Twitterverse (@CKlosterman), Sheffield isn’t on Twitter. It’s not that he doesn’t get it. (I mean, what’s to “get”?). It’s that he doesn’t understand why anyone who is not a celebrity would want to live their life in such a public forum. Or, for that matter, why anyone else would care.
During the conversation Sheffield, to paraphrase, said that he understood why celebrities are on Twitter. He gets how they like the immediate ability to deflect rumors and answer fan queries. He gets that they want to interact with their fans.
And, while I have referenced my love for living online here before, I’d like to take this opportunity to explain, publicly, to Rob Sheffield, how Twitter can be a tool for the average Joe.
Twitter, like all social media, is about engagement. It’s about socializing. It’s about making friends and allies, be they people you know in real life or people who you only follow because of a shared online interest. (For instance, I’m followed on a list of people who follow Michael Pollan on Twitter). To keep followers, you don’t necessarily need to follow back. But you do need to engage. And, celebrity or not, we all crave social interaction.
I’ve seen Twitter used to push Kickstarter campaigns over the top. I’ve seen Twitter used to boost someone’s mood. People swap links to articles and videos. They share commentary. They share ideas. And, whether done in a forum like the Klosterman/Sheffield conversation of last night, or in a back-and-forth of only 140 characters, Twitter is about conversation.
And, that, dear Mr. Sheffield, is why @MsMatchGirl is a non-celebrity, very comfortably sharing my life, with my 400-something followers, on Twitter.
Image via JellyNYC blog