A few weeks ago I talked about the future of the blog here, and last week I mentioned the big news that my wife and I will be starting full-time work on our own small business called Weekend Panda. Today I want to chat about another change I’m making as I prep for 2018 and beyond, plus the “why” of that decision.
You may have read a previous post about my Consideration to Leave Twitter earlier this year. Since then I’ve found a far better balance between tweeting positive things + encouraging others and living my real life + not checking Twitter every 10 seconds. I feel that my Twitter habits are in a much better place now than ever before.
Another thing that has changed is what it is I’m interested in tweeting out to the world.
For a long time I used Twitter as more of an outlet for random thoughts than anything else. If a cheeseburger was delicious, I let the world know. Yet there was always something empty about this, and even if I got likes (then called Favorites) from other cheeseburger fans, it didn’t feel all that great. As I sat and thought about this, I realized I wasn’t adding much to the world. My tweets were fine, not harmful or anything, but they weren’t what I’d consider good. They were little more than noise in an already noisy place.
The area in my own life I find the most fulfilling and rich is my study of philosophy and theology, and my personal growth. What I noticed when I read through my old tweets was that I rarely discussed that subject, though. The reason was I didn’t want to offend anyone. Even speaking about what you personally believe, not trying to “force” it on anyone else, can often result in people being upset with you. (Which I think is a problem, but that’s probably a whole different post. Or perhaps a whole book.)
I also came to understand that the tweets I see from others which help me the most are not the “I love cheeseburger” tweets but the deep, rich ones that speak honestly and openly, even about difficult subjects. One of the people I find that does this best is @jumpingbean55. She tweets pictures of delicious cookies from her job at a bakery, but she balances it well with encouraging thoughts that don’t shy away from the faith she finds so helpful. Almost every day she manages to post something that inspires me to do better. It’s a simple little thing that makes a big difference to me.
I decided that hiding potentially the biggest part of who I am – what I believe – was not only being dishonest, but it wasn’t being a good witness. There was a time in my life where I would have tried to convince you of what to believe; so you would agree with me. I don’t feel that way anymore. What you believe is totally up to you. It’s not my place to force anything on you. At the same time, if I don’t profess what I believe in an open way, I’m withholding the truth about myself and my experiences.
My goal is to make yet another transition on Twitter to be better balanced. I still want to post fun, goofy stuff and talk about video games. I also don’t want to shy away from deep topics because they are considered taboo. How will anyone gain understanding, myself included? Honesty is a lot more compelling, and frankly it’s a lot easier than dancing around certain subjects. I am posting a pair of open letters via my Twitter account, and then we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think, be it on Twitter, in the comments, or via email.
Next Monday is Christmas Day, so I wish you the merriest Christmas and a happy New Year! I’ll try to post next week, but if not January 1st will be here before we know it.