WHY TWEET? WHY BLOG? THE IMPORTANCE OF NOTES.
The purpose of this post is to explain why I tweet, why I blog and to answer criticism.
First of all I will answer the largest criticism I have and that is the accusation of being a “liar” when recounting events I have witnessed, been through myself or told by third parties. Now at 55 I am the first to admit that my memory is not what it could be, I also consider it true that memory is subject to bias, inaccuracy and error that increase over time. However, to my critics I show this box. For over 32 years I have made notes, on everyday events, experiences and thoughts. Hence I am able to recall events with reasonable accuracy.
Now this is a habit I can recommend, in working life I also made daily notes, this enabled me to recall things with accuracy when needed, and enabled me to defend myself when clients, colleagues and occasionally bosses tried “to pull a fast one”. Indeed the note taking even enabled me to argue for a raise at one point. I thoroughly recommend it in working life and expensive Filofax pages proved their worth on numerous occasions.
Yet outside work where did I get the idea to write notes – it was from two sources, one an old countryman that once told me, “if I had kept a diary my stories would be worth a fortune….at least to me.” The second was a quote from Warren Buffet who said you should make notes whenever you read a book.
But Why Tweet? Why Blog?
These are separate and connected. My primary wish on Twitter is to help people, largely by retweeting. Sometimes by passing on or creating information. However, I do like the discussion, the banter and I like to be challenged provided the challenge is not about the person, but about their argument or what they say. However there is another side to twitter and that is vanity – I like to be heard. Now on this latter point I am kidding myself as twitter is huge and tweets are small. But c’est la vie.
It also has to be remembered that twitter is geared to binary argument and real life is not binary. And the limited number of characters enhances binary argument. Good vs evil, right vs wrong. If we lived in a binary world we would always be in conflict.
I am mindful of something the journalist and writer Jon Ronson said that he could not understand why people blogged because they were writing without being paid. Blogging is a bit different. I first blogged when I had my first computer in 2001 and that was to explore ideas and thoughts and I used the pseudonym “The Conservative Spaldonian” . I had a few reactions, but I did get a job offer for freelance agency writing being paid per article. However, it was made clear that I would have to use my proper name. At the time I worked for a Bank and I feared some of my writing may prove unpopular with my employer or customers and the reality is that it is difficult to serve two masters, so declined the offer.
The reason I blog is perhaps “I want to be heard” but it is split into areas. I wish to tell stories and tales, some fiction, many true, some original, some as told to me. I wish to help people, especially in the rural world by sharing knowledge and ideas. I also wish to explore thoughts, arguments, politics and philosophy. Not having University education I feel I really missed out on the later.
Finally I am mindful of the following tragedy. When the late curator and president of Spalding Gentleman’s Society died he left all his books together with his diaries and note books full of personal writings. Sadly, at the time of his death, members of the society viewed these notes as ramblings and “too personal” and destroyed them. The sad thing is he had written so much and it was never shared. I appreciate it may have been done with good intentions, but he knew what he was leaving behind him and clearly wanted to share it. At the very least they could have been sealed for a period to preserve them and respect for him.