Have you ever wondered if Twitter could improve things at home? In this post, Corey Allan (follow him at @simplemarriage) of The Simple Marriage Project and Parent To Launch explores the idea of using Twitter to get more out of family relationships.
With the addition of social networks in the past few years, it’s amazing how easy it has become to stay “connected” to other people. I’m currently only on Facebook, FriendFeed and Twitter. But with countless other avenues to use for connection, how could these mediums be used to improve, or perhaps even save your relationship with your significant other?
I realize that many people use Twitter for the networking or marketing aspect of its design. It’s a great way to generate a buzz about a product or service you can provide. It’s also a way to expand your network of influence and influencers.
But what if Tweets were used to tweak your relationships?
Pardon me while I wax stereotypically for a moment. Twitter may resonate more with men than women, since most men would rather cut to the chase. But there are many women who could use the format of Tweeting to enhance their relationships. Twitter could also be a means to improve parenting as well.
Allow me to explain.
My family of origin is cursed/blessed with the gift of detail over-provide. You know what I mean, you call home to say “hello” and are given every little detail about the day/week/month, and maybe even year (that’s a long phone call). What they ate for lunch, what’s on TV, even the episode, on and on it goes.
My wife’s family on the other hand, doesn’t have this “gift” to the same degree as mine. So early on in our marriage I was often greeted with the phrase, “get to the point.”
With a maximum of 140 characters, Tweets require the necessity of laser-like messaging. There’s no room for extraneous details.
While face to face conversations may provide a bit more connection and understanding, the extra details can get in the way. Whether both you and your significant other use Twitter for business, to connect with family, or each other, it can be a great way to improve your relationship. It may even be a way to save it.
Here’s a few ideas how:
1. Focus on what’s important.
Messages on Twitter are short and to the point, forcing you to focus on what’s most important and get to the heart of the matter between you. As a bonus, whenever I fall into the detail over-provider during face to face conversations with my wife, she can now respond with “Tweet that!”
2. Stay connected throughout the day.
With Twitter’s ability to send direct messages, this is another way to stay in touch throughout the day. You could send short messages, plan out an evening, ask them out on a date, write a poem, or simply write “I love you” 12.72 times.
3. Team parenting as a way to grow closer.
With Twitter’s DM feature you could easily connect and co-parent throughout the day as issues arise. Since children are so gifted at playing one parent off the other, tweeting is another one of many ways to combat this and stay informed as parents. Plus you’d have a record of your communication, further decreasing the likelihood of your child’s ability to twist what one of you say in order to get their way.
4. Collaborate with other parents/couples.
Now I’m not recommending that you air your family’s dirty laundry with this idea. Instead, what if you used your Twitter followers to collaborate with when it comes to date ideas? Or parenting assistance? I’ve seen several conversations on Twitter about gift ideas and ways to celebrate special occasions.
Could it be that there is a valuable resource waiting to be tapped into in order to get more out of marriage and parenting? Try a little experiment with tweeting each other and see the impact you observe in your relationship. You could even Tweet it so others could share in your experience!
PS from Darren: When Corey pitched me the idea for this post I have to admit my eyebrows were a little raised – I’ve heard of Twitter coming between partners but enhancing a relationship? Since then I’ve talked to a few different Twitter users whose partner tweets and they say that it has worked well for them.
I’d love to hear the experiences of those who’ve tried to use Twitter within a family or relationship.