Do you get Twitter?

Several people have said that they don’t “get” Twitter.  It seems a shame.  Twitter can be fun and it can be useful for keeping in touch with people, ideas and looking at beautiful pictures.  I learn a lot from Twitter!

So what is there to get?

I have written before about joining Twitter.  Finding my first few people to follow was a real challenge.  I only knew of one person among my family, friends and acquaintances, who was on Twitter.  However, once I had set up my account, I took to it like a duck to water.  Perhaps having an owl as my avatar here on WordPress made me a natural twit. (Woo hoo!)

I am a voracious reader.  At first I clicked on lots of links on Twitter and learned about effective use of social media.  I have trouble detecting irony and sarcasm.  When people offer tongue in cheek advice I become confused.  Jokes on Twitter frequently use sarcasm.  That is not my style.

Twitter produces a stream of short posts (micro-blogs).  Although there are now features such as “while you were away” or “some Tweets you may have missed”, the active life of a Tweet is said to be 20 minutes.  Older Tweets are accessible by looking at individual profiles or searching hashtags or keywords.

Hashtags are hyperlinks (clickable links).  Using a small number of appropriate hashtags helps your Tweets reach more people.  Some hashtags are very popular.  The most popular ones appear in the list of trending topics on Twitter.  There are different trends in different geographical regions.  Hashtags may be registered on Twubs.  It is important to understand how people are using certain hashtags.  #MondayBlogs is one of many hashtags with rules.

Some people follow everyone who follows them.  I actually spend a bit of time each day reading Tweets.  I don’t want to read lots of things which do not interest me at all.  If someone follows me I have a look at their profile and read a few of their Tweets before deciding whether or not to follow them.  Some people mainly retweet other people’s Tweets.  If this becomes annoying I turn off retweets for that person.

I also check the profiles of people who like or retweet my tweets.

It is easy to spend too much time on social media.  I have still to find the best way of cutting down on this.

There are things that annoy me about how other people use Twitter, so I try to avoid these.  Some people use apps to increase their following and send out a greeting every Monday to their 10s, 100s or 1000s of followers. They waste my time.  People, who send direct messages just because you followed them are irritating.

There are lots of good things about Twitter as well.  One of my followers turned out to be related to someone I met through a Bible study group.

And that leads me to something else that some people don’t get – religion, faith and in particular Christianity.  Religion is about rules.  Faith is about trust.  The Old Testament of the Bible sets out the rules.  People found they could not keep them.  The New Testament tells about God’s great love in sending his Son, fully human and fully divine to live on earth and die and rise from death.  Through Jesus Christ we can know God and live our lives in fellowship (relationship) with him, strengthened and guided by the Holy Spirit.  This involves communication with him through prayer and learning about him through Bible study.  It involves communication with other believers and worshipping God regularly.  The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39, about his belief that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIVUK)

I pray that my readers may grow in the knowledge and love of God and have the peace that only he can give.


Too busy to blog

The garden is overgrown even after upwards of 20 person-hours of attention in the last  week.  There are jobs to be done indoors, places to go and people to see.  Books are piling up to be read and projects to be completed.  There is piano music not yet learned and puzzles not yet solved.  A hand-written journal waits for updates.

So here I am wondering whether to blog or not to blog.  A friend has blogged about blogging in her sabbatical.  Writing helps her think.

As I ponder and tap the keyboard, I can hear the rain.  I have spent the dry part of the day gardening and do not feel that other things need doing straightaway.

There don’t seem to be many people reading blogs at present.  They are probably enjoying summer holidays (in the Northern hemisphere).

Just to provide something different I am going to set up a poll about whether everyone should take a break from blogging in the summer months.  There are some blogs I’d miss reading, though.  One is More than Writers, with a team of regular writers and some guests.



What else I read in July 2016

After I posted my list of books I had finished reading in July I also read The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.  It is a story set in an imaginary world just after the time of King Arthur.  Ishiguro has a style of his own.  There is no variation in the pace even in the most exciting parts of the story.  There are a lot of layers to this book – it could be interpreted in various ways.  Unlike the other books I read in July this one did not come from the library.  A member of my family discovered it in a charity (thrift) shop.  I do not regret reading it, but I have to admit that I nodded off once or twice, due to the lack of variation in pace, the warm weather and comfortable seating!

I have read other books by this accomplished author.

When I went to the library to return the books I wrote about previously, I noticed that they were featuring books by Beatrix Potter and those she had written.  A book of her art felt very heavy and I had to walk across the town.  However a book about her gardening life appealed to me more and I borrowed that.  Some of her art was displayed at Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth last time we visited it.  The 150th anniversary of her birth was 28 July.

I have also been reading information online and in dated printed publications.  By dated I do not mean old-fashioned, but issued for a specific time.  I have learned (via Twitter) that there is going to be a fourth book in Jasper Fforde’s Dragonslayer series, that Lian Hearn has announced a new series (I really enjoyed the series beginning with Across the Nightingale Floor) and Katharine Swartz has announced a new book in the Tales of Goswell series, The Second Bride, to  be published in February 2017.  When I lay my hands on those, I am likely to be Lost in a Good Book (the title of a book by Jasper Fforde).  Lots to look forward to!