Cate Moore is the curator of many voices blog and has been described memorably as “pragmatism and experience wrapped in a sauce of civility and dignity'”.
Why I Tweet
Two years ago I thought Twitter was for people who wanted to tell total strangers what colour socks they put on that morning.
How wrong was I?!
I looked at it rather disinterestedly then left it alone for about six months, only coming back to it because I live near Croydon and there were riots and burning and general nastiness but the TV news was telling me nothing. So I looked at Twitter and lo, there were people on the streets, tweeting exactly what was happening.
I learned very quickly that not everything is factual and that rumour runs fast on Twitter! I also learned that here was a place many different people from many different backgrounds can unite and discuss, debate and inform each other on any subject which might be of interest to them. I like that.
The best and worst things about tweeting
My timeline is unique to me.
The people I follow are those who interest me or who tweet about things I am interested in.
I can tailor Twitter to exactly my own needs. In this way, I am in contact with a wide and exciting variety of people, who would never have the chance to converse on an equal standing elsewhere.
I might tweet to an MP or a news reader for instance and then I might read something from a 90 year old woman who lives in New York. She likes quilting and has a sharp political eye.
I have learned, gained information faster than I can imagine being able to do anywhere else, have challenged peoples’ perceptions and had my own equally challenged.
What’s not to like?!
Well, there are a few things not to like, I’ve found.
I have encountered bullying of individuals because they have a different opinion. I have seen real nastiness. I’m sure most people have. I follow a lot of Police Officers and it has been sad to see one after the other disappear from my timeline due to fear of being investigated for tweeting their own thoughts and opinions.
What I get out of tweeting
I get far more out of tweeting than I ever thought I would.
I have made and continue to make excellent contacts, many of whom I would not have managed to reach if not for twitter. I began my personal blog after a twitter debate and have enjoyed tremendously being able to write there.
I am very proud of ManyVoices blog, which I set up to provide a place for others to say sometimes quite contentious things, without the fear of reprisals.
As with twitter itself, the blog is an ever evolving thing and is currently hosting essays from a variety of people connected with the Criminal Justice System. Most surprisingly, I have formed friendships – I had no idea that would happen!
Tips and Successes
I think we are all unique and should approach things in whichever way best suits us.
That said, I’ve found twitter to be most responsive to tweets that take on board other opinions. People like to know they are being listened to, not just talked at. They open up and I’ve learnt lots in this way, challenging myself.
Mistakes and Failures
Failures? Lots!! I try really hard not to get drawn from debate to argument. But it has happened.
For me, on Twitter, that’s a failure. Leaving anyone frustrated or angry, that’s a failure.
Mistakes? There are no mistakes…only things to learn from. And that’s positive isn’t it?!
This is the 3oth post in the criminal justice/legal Why I tweet series. Read the others here.
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