Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Twittering Classes

What are the dangers of Twitter? One is certainly that you can spend too much time in a scattered way.  On a bad day, I read 8 or 10 articles recommended on Twitter in the early morning, mostly forget about them by lunch time, and then come home from work with my head full of a jumble of half-formed ideas which it's difficult to pull together in writing because I'm tired and also thinking about Sunday's sermon or a lecture I have to prepare. I suppose, though, that the fact all these loose thoughts have been around in my head while working means that I may have been making connections and bringing to bear the experience of my life and work in the service of what the health service and church now like to call 'reflective practice.' It's important that every discipline and walk of life contributes to online discussion - and when 'discipline' is too grand a word, we may put it like this - we need an understanding of what's 'trending' or at the top of people's minds. Pastoral practice may then want to intrude with a thought or two about what's not at the top of people's agenda, but ought to register somewhere.   

So, I ask myself, 'What is the purpose of twittering?' The answer will be different for everyone. You have to find your own way to use it. I've developed themes (no, not corresponding to hash tags, but themes in my mind to which I am committed and which may not be immediately apparent to other people but which, over time, will come to fruition.) My personal themes are theology, ethics with a slant toward medical ethics, poetry and music, dementia and end of life care, social justice and gender issues. I'm also developing my information-gathering networks and my idea-exchanging networks. 

I haven't yet worked out how to tackle the wealth of political comment on Twitter. It's just too much to digest everyday.

Would welcome thoughts about how to maximise Twitter potential. 

1 comment:

  1. I do think there are many good things on Twitter, but there is also a lot of rubbish. I never got involved until someone put my blog about my dementia on to it, then I had to look to see what it was. While I think it is a powerful tool if used correctly, as can also get silly when the geeks come out to abuse people. I have noticed that a lot of Bishops use this service too, but perhaps this is only used when the are bored. I must ask some day.