Social Media Expertism*

I spoke to a class of mostly college seniors today about Twitter. A few weeks ago Dr. Terry Clark, my former professor and current friend asked me to speak to his Twitter for Journalists intersession class in January. Today was the day!

I did not prepare!


Shocking, I know. But at least I wore birthday jewelry from my best friend and the green Land’s End dress I procured from Camp Mighty….so I was lookin’ nice.

I’m glad I spoke entirely off the cuff….there’s not a ton of that kind of advice in Social Media. I certainly appreciate true expertise and seek it out often. But I brought some real-world, practical advice. Some tips from one Tweeter to another. Here are tweets from the students who endured my ADD approach to public speaking:







OK, that last one was not a student. That one was from tomorrow’s speaker (and also a friend of mine) who is really a big deal. I have loads of respect for her ambition and talents so, for her to say such a nice thing about me…well…it was nice. Very nice. Like I may have said, “Awwww…that’s so nice” at my desk. Because I’ve taken to talking to myself. Very glad I got to go first on the speaker roster, Jessica is one woman I’d never want to follow.

As I walked away from the Mass Comm building at the University of Central Oklahoma, the building where I spent most of my time as a student, I checked my push notifications and had over 40 mentions waiting on me. Like, whoa. Later on I got this:


Then I had to rent a UHaul for the rest of the day so my massive ego could be safely transported home.

*I am not an expert. I just tweet a lot.

I’m in The Library, too.

I’ve been struggling with depression (or stress or anxiety or something keeping me off balance and my hair falling out and my weight creeping up) off and on for almost all of 2012. It’s not that it was a bad year….quite the contrary. But it was intense. Like a puppy drinking out of a water bowl brimming with espresso and ecstasy and endorphins. INTENSE. It occurred to me last week that 2012 was Too Much and the too-muchness may have been the culprit of some of my whatever-you-want-to-call-its.

I New Year’s Day I stumbled across a Facebook post of Elizabeth Gilbert. I noticed immediately feeling better. Lighter.


Every January 1rst — whether you’ve earned it or not —they give you a brand new year for FREE. Imagine it! A completely fresh year — with no dinks on it, no scuff-marks, no cat hair, no spills, no collisions, no breakdowns, no funny odors, no mistakes, no failures, no parts falling off it, no nothing. Just an amazing new year (with thatterrific “new year smell”) which you can use it for ANYTHING YOU LIKE! Not only that, you are allowed to throw away your old year completely — which, if you are like me, you have always completely totaled by Dec 31. You just get to push that beat-up and tired old year off a cliff, and drive away in your bright, shiny new one…and it costs you nothing. Nothing at all. They just give it to you, every year that you live.


Amazing and generous, is the prize of a new year.

Love her.

So, at least in some portion of my mind, I’m reminding myself that this is a fresh start. A new year. A clean, shiny new year. To do with what I wish. I haven’t yet decided what I want from my new year other than, Peace and Happiness and Health. I don’t know that I can have one without the others. I’m reminded of what Maggie said at Camp Mighty, “Your body is a compass.” I’m pretty sure she got that from Martha Beck, who I have begun ‘reading’ on Audible (Follow Your North Star). Pair that up with my love for all things Brene Brown, then I think I have a direction.

Last year, for the New Year of 2012, I was terribly ambitious. I made a three or four tabbed spreadsheet of the year’s goals with dates and notes and progress check-ins and by the time I finished the blasted thing I wanted to close it and never look at it again. Which is pretty much how that went. After failing at the goals, one by one, I knotted up in shame and self-criticism. Did you know that if you fill up yourself with self-criticism you have almost no capacity for constructive criticism? At least I don’t. If anything, that extra criticism just confirm my own gremlins.

For 2013 (or as Jenny Lawson calls it, The Library) I am planning no real resolutions. I’m just keeping a general direction of where I want to go and how I want to get there. No goals. No charts. No high expectations from which to plummet. Just a direction in which to walk (or run or bike or down dog, depending on my mood).

Maybe it’s insanity, or maybe it’s just me, but somehow I think we all need a year in The Library.  A year where it’s safe to make mistakes.  A year where it’s okay to have to escape and stare out the window without someone asking you when you’re going to get back to work and fix your life.

~Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess

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