I stumbled on an ad for the Metropolitan Opera’s new work “Two Boys” the other day. The catch: The entire ad is comprised of tweets.
Some of the tweets are from famous folk (Salman Rushdie), others from people I don’t know. But the language throughout is bold, visceral, kinesthetic. A sample: I’m shaking. I’m about to cry. That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. @nicomuhly @metopera, thank you for this. @PaulDavidFlood
Here’s my twitter truth.
When twitter is bad, it’s banal. It invokes an instant inner groan.
When it is good, it just as instantly energizes me. Jolts my thinking. Elicits a big fat smile.
The Met ad elicits the big fat smile.
I think of this as I dine with my friend Raul Rodriguez at Lola’s in Hollywood last week. Raul is a classic old-school conversationalist. Raul doesn’t text. And he certainly doesn’t tweet.
Here, I say to Raul at the end of dinner, Let me read Maria Shriver’s twitter bio to you (I’m not a fervent Maria Shriver fan, but I had just stumbled across Ms. Shriver’s bio and liked it):
“A mom who’s proud of her children. A communicator and convener. My mission: to inform, inspire, and ignite people to impact their world as #architectsof change.”
Pretty cool, right? I reiterate. Raul seems mildly impressed, so I persist. Let me read Amy Cuddy’s bio to you. She’s a hotshot young professor at Harvard Business School:
“Live life with my arms reached out. Eye to eye when speaking. Enter rooms with great joy shouts. Happy to be meeting. Bright as yellow. Warm as yellow.”
I don’t think Raul is about to tweet anytime soon. But I feel he begins to “get” what I love about great twitter language: It’s bold. It’s robust. It’s muscular. It’s infectious.
And it energizes me.
I’m a twitter newbie. Have been tweeting less than a year.
Like Raul, I crave the joys of an in-person conversation conducted over a fine meal.
But I have come to cherish the quick energy boosts I get from my beloved twitter friends.
Alli Polin. Ted Coine. Hoda Maaloof. Tom Asacker. Johann Gauthier.
These are just a few. I didn’t know them a year ago. They live all over the world – in the Australian Outback, the West Coast of Florida, Beirut, New Hampshire, Ottawa.
Several of these folks I have since met in person. All of them I have chatted with on the phone. I consider them friends – and I don’t use that term lightly.
I am inspired by Alli’s gentle leadership wisdom.
I love Ted’s wicked deconstruction of leadership clichés.
I am moved by Hoda’s soulful meditations on life.
I am consistently surprised by Tom’s keen insight into the nature of belief.
I am super-charged by Johann’s irrepressible energy.
And, if you’re someone who doesn’t tweet, here’s the part I really want you to get: The wisdom and energy of these friends is available to me every day. Any time I want it. It is generous and wholly unconditional.
That’s pretty darn awesome, isn’t it?
This week, ask yourself: Where do I turn to get a quick energy boost when I need it? It might be a meditation book. A passage from the bible. A cartoon. A beloved picture.
But consider, for a moment, the joy and inspiration that is available to you from a like-minded twitter friend. Consider it – and explore!