Saturday, May 2, 2009

Am I the only one with Tweeter's Remorse?

I blog on Blogger, tweet on Twitter and frolic with family and friends on Facebook. My life is quite busy, with teaching and tutoring, so my online social time is somewhat limited; perhaps that is a good thing! You see, I am quite a reflective person, who sometimes gets stuck in her head pondering endless possibilities. Although I have a high need to communicate my ideas and thoughts, I am also highly sensitive, leading me occasionally down a path littered with land mines: intense moments of self-doubt and criticism. One of those moments today inspired me to stop and wonder: Does anyone else worry about what they put out there for the world to see? Has anyone posted something and, just as they would after making a very important purchase, suddenly shut down the computer, or put away the iphone only to have tweeter's remorse over something they had shared? The little voice inside my head does a thoroughly good job of raking me over the coals after I share a link to a blog entry or post an idea or original quote. I wonder if anyone else suffers the following thoughts:
Did that post make me look/sound: not smart enough, silly, self-indulgent, pathetic, condescending? and the list of fears goes on. I have even giggled to myself: Does that post make my butt look big?
In order to avoid that gut-wrenching feeling of dread, here are a few questions I ask myself before I send off my messages to the world through the realm of social media.

1) Would I have said that to a real-life person? I imagine myself at work or with my family and wonder if I would have had the courage to say those words.
2) Does my message match my values and beliefs? Conversely, am I putting something forth to shock others or persuade them to follow a path I don't necessarily believe in?
3) Will my future life be affected by any mindless statements I once made? As a teacher, certain aspects of my life, like it or not, are judged by my audience. Yes, I have private, free time, but there is no guarantee that something I post will not be linked to me in a public way. Am I proud of how I represent myself?
4) Am I reinforcing helpful or healthy ideation?
5) Does my message enhance relationships with new friends by offering support, advice, or humor to help someone get through a rough patch?

I suppose I do think too much.. but maybe reflection isn't such a bad thing. I suddenly feel the urge to share this post, and for once, I don't think I will analyze it.

In the words of Michelangelo:

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.


  1. I guarantee you regret far less than many others because of your introspection and self-reflection. It's an important skill that is sometimes learned the hard way...this kind of thinking ought to be taught to our students.

    Of course, there are always changes and improvements we could have made, but as long as the posts follow your guidelines above, I think they're a pretty safe bet. Well done. :-)

  2. Thanks Angela. :-) Yes I agree that our students do need to learn these skills as well. I try to even begin that process in kindergarten with at least making kids aware of how powerful their comments can be.
    I appreciate the comment:-) Have a great weekend!

  3. Oh sure - I think we all have Twitter's/blogger/facebook remorse:) Thanks for the tips on how to avoid this just a bit better! I saw the link on Twitter:)

  4. I believe your article made a lot of sense. I use to work a lot with online groups and stuff. For me I just respond with reason, not react with emotion. Typed words can never relay the multi-dimensional nature of communications alone.

    Namastte ~Peta

  5. Thanks for the comments:-) I am glad I am not the only one!

  6. Reading this post was like reading my mind! I am there with you completely! I always read and reread what I write before I post, and have been known to, several times on any given day, abandon things that I had typed because it didn't fit with what I feel the public needs to know about me... Good guiding questions posted here. Thanks Joan.

  7. Thanks Jamie for the comment! I have gotten a bit more confident in speaking my mind, but I still go to my anonymous blog when I want to reveal something that is very true to my heart but might impact my job. Thanks again for chiming in :-) I always appreciate your insight.


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