Public vs. Private on Twitter–squirrel!

So, it’s been approximately a year and a half since I’ve blogged (at least in this particular blog, my own little private slice of the internets), and interestingly, when I came back to it, I found that my last half-finished saved blog post was one in which I mused about my decision to protect my twitter feed. That decision ended up making the twitter-sphere a lot less interesting for me, and over the last year and a half, I’ve been spending a lot less time there. But I’m taking a class this semester (burying the lead, hey folks, I’m in graduate school now, fulfilling my long-time goal of getting a master’s degree in Museum Education!) that requires students to be active on Twitter.

So I decided this class could be a kick in the butt to get me back into tweeting regularly, and along with it, decided to reopen my feed so I could be a part of the larger conversation again. One of the things I missed the most when my feed was protected was that I couldn’t just tweet someone at random, and know that they would see it. I felt very shut out from it all.

(An aside. This is going to be one of the most parentheses-heavy posts ever, I can just tell. I’m not saying that deciding to protect your twitter feed is always a bad thing. In fact, it’s not, and there are many reasons to choose to do so. I’m just saying that protecting my twitter feed prevented me from using Twitter in a way that I found valuable. One real life example from before I protected my tweets: I was complaining about my internet service being down, and a customer service rep contacted me via twitter to help solve my problem. A real life example of something I wasn’t able to do after protecting my feed: call out an author whose book I was really enjoying and give him the mad props he deserved.)

So, I’m diving back into Twitter. I’m using hootsuite to manage my lists (all private, as it’s just my way of organizing the groups of people I follow) and the various hashtags I’ve been following (my newest one is #iTunesU… I’m slightly in love with the new app!). And because it’s been a while, I found that I had some cleanup to do, and in the midst of doing that cleanup, I discovered that one person I used to follow, had blocked me!

I won’t lie. At first, that discovery upset me. I took it personally–what had I done, what had I said? But after thinking about it a bit, I decided that it probably had nothing to do with me at all, and really, was my world going to end if I didn’t know what this person (who I had only ever known slightly in real life), was thinking every moment of the day? The answer is no, probably not.

This post began as a lot of things. A musing on what it means to be private vs. public on twitter–that same post I began so long ago. A musing on how much social media relationships matter to us. An announcement that I was going to try blogging more (yet again. But I mean it this time. I think blogging can help keep me sane, and I need all the sanity I can get.)

Instead of really doing any of the above, I think I mostly ended up babbling. But you know, sometimes, it’s good to babble. So anyway, here I am. I’m in school, so I can’t promise to be anything like prolific, but I’m going to try for one post a week, at least. No guarantees on topic. The usual suspects (food, writing, critters, technology, knitting) are all sure to make an appearance, and I’m sure museums and education can be added to that list. If you want to follow me on twitter, I’m @wingcolor, and once again, open to everyone.