It doesn’t. Not really. Twitter doesn’t work. It’s like all those things you think will work that actually don’t work. Like being famous doesn’t work. Or being what you think successful is. Or admired, smart, clever, popular or quotable. Or having more followers. Or getting elected. Or getting an agent or a book deal. Or falling in love. Or getting another wife or husband or career after your last tweet doesn’t quite work. None of it works the way you’re thinking it will.
Twitter is just another name for another thing that will disappoint you, even betray you. It is an agent of your demise – the demise of how you want things to turn out.
If I could just ratchet up those numbers, cross that threshold, send more, get more, do more, have more. You know how that works.
It’s kind of fascinating that when these new things roll around we think, for a minute or two, that they will change human drama, human tragedy, or human history. Revolutionize it! They don’t. They don’t change the ending of anything. They might even hasten it. At best, they hasten the end of the dream.
The way I think of Twitter is the same way I think of advertising. And advertising doesn’t work either. I worked for more than two decades in advertising and PR, alongside great people and with great companies and I learned some great things about life and work. One of the things we all learned was that advertising and PR don’t work. Well, not quite the way you hope they will. Not like magic or make believe. Advertising only works when you have endless sums of money and you pollute the world with your advertising and then it works in the same way trees and rocks and buildings work – they show up everywhere. There’s no magic in that, no strategy or cleverness, just sheer tonnage. And endless money and hopes and dreams and schemes and silliness just circulating around like so much dust.
But when you see the dust! That’s when it begins to work. That’s when the real conversation starts. That’s worth hoping for.
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The Practice of Everyday Life, weekend retreat in Colorado Sept. 16-18
The Plunge in Pittsburgh, one-day retreat right where you think it will be, Oct. 1