What Would Miss Manners Make of Twitter?

A daisy in full bloomThis morning a light bulb went off. At last! I had an event to Twitter about.

I packed up my trusty laptop and off I went to Living in Full Bloom: A Celebration of Cancer Survivorship. Not only that, I checked Twitter on my iPhone just in case wireless wasn’t working.

As the crowd of 500 or so settled down, I started up as discreetly as I could. Of course, how discreet can one be when yours is the only laptop at the event?

Following an invocation, Ruth McGinnis, an ovarian cancer survivor, pulled out her violin and together with her band, launched into a gorgeous melody — St. Anne’s Reel. I feebly tweeted again, but when she started to tell the story of her cancer, I just couldn’t do it any more. It felt disrespectful. I would be horrified if someone Twittered in a church service. And while there were photographers and a video crew, nonetheless this had more in common with church than a media event. She spoke from her heart of living with cancer, and the crowd responded, creating a patchwork of deeply touching stories.

So have I now resolved my Twitter dilemna? Does this mean I can now safely dispense with it? Alas, no. Life is messy. As I was getting ready to Twitter earlier in the day, I happened on a tweet by Barack Obama,: “Thanking Hillary. Our party & our country are stronger because of the work she has done.” I followed the link and it led me to a form where I too could (and did) thank Senator Clinton. This is Web 2.0 at its best.

And I’m still lost in Twitterland.

3 Responses

  1. I’m just not into the Twittering thing. I don’t know anyone who needs to know in such minute detail what I’m doing all the time … “in the stacks looking for Chinese looseleafs” … “off to lunch, pizza again” … “watching Idol with the kitty”. I have enough trouble keeping up with email and IM and blogs!

    Not Twittering at that presentation honored the event. You did the right thing 🙂

  2. I absolutely love the idea of reading “in the stacks looking for Chinese looseleafs” on Twitter. (Is Dan still there? Hope so. If so, say Hi to him for me.) That aside, so glad to hear we are in agreement.

  3. I’ve had a conversion and am now twittering and Facebooking all the time. It makes perfect sense now that I have a small community network of friends and fellow librarians and am already in more frequent contact with the reference staff than before Twitter. If you decide to take it back up, do get in touch!