For the first few months after I’d signed up for my Twitter account, it sat there doing little outside taunting me with what I didn’t know and was not yet ready to learn.
It was the newest of the new; the styrofoam peanuts still sticking to the blue bird’s feathers. I’d heard how amazing Twitter was; a shot of adrenaline to socializing, marketing and a dozen other ings all singing in unison.
But I didn’t get it.
Every time I loaded the web page I felt like a million minutes were melting from my day. How could anyone pull value from such an incessant stream of data? How was advantage sifted and filtered? An concept founded on fast moving information, slung across an interface filled with molasses only seemed to underscore one essential truth:
When I was on Twitter, I wasn’t working.
I tried Twitter a few more times, but each experience felt like I was being told to do something that was good for me. My ears grew numb to the dull, incessant chatter. Until I tried TweetDeck.
The first time I was on TweetDeck I felt like I was among the first to ride the railroad rather than brave the frontier in a covered wagon across long months just to reach the promise of gold in California. TweetDeck changed everything… well, almost everything.
Still, whenever I was on Twitter, I wasn’t working.
Though I was starting to enjoy the rapid exchange that never paused, like a ceaseless stream of salmon swimming, enjoyment did nothing to lengthen my day and thus left me feeling counter-productive.
Then I really got it.
There is magic inside Twitter, no doubt, though I believe the enchantment is different for everyone. The perspective from which we view Twitter will directly dictate the value we extract. For me, Twitter is a wonderful place to banter and network, be myself as fast as my fingers will let me. Catch up with friends and play with people I didn’t know yesterday.
Twitter is my recess.
Once I held that idea dear, the very nature of Twitter twisted into something more tangible. I am a hard worker. Each day piles my plate with plenty, and it is only the minding of my minutes that keeps me moving along. No one can plow through each day without taking a break. Adults are given moments from each hour with which to step back and breath a bit of different air. Children are given a recess from learning to play with their peers and traffic in diversion.
Now that Twitter is my recess I keep my nose down and all five fingers dancing up and down the home row. In between tasks, I pause to take my recess. I don’t play tether ball or hide-n-seek, but I do answer questions, crack a few jokes, gather feedback and then return to my work day with my smile a little broader.
I’ve never loved Twitter more. Discovering it was my recess made all the difference. Maybe it’s your recess too.