Jen Jeffrey: Twitter Is For Men

Sunday, December 8, 2013 - by Jen Jeffrey
Jen Jeffrey
Jen Jeffrey

Keeping up the with the social media outlets for PR purposes is one reason I opened my Twitter account. I can post a link to my articles to expand the market of my readers and I can post a link from my website as well. But whenever I try to use it socially and tweet something about what is going on with me or to share a mood I am in, this proves difficult for me.

Twitter allows 140 characters and that’s it. That covers spacing and punctuation as well. What woman can say ANYTHING with so few words? I haven’t been much of a Twitter fan except to just post my links and leave it at that.

Sometimes I want to express a certain mood that I may be in whether it is happy or sad and I don’t always want my Facebook friends to comment about it. I am pretty much an open book so I don’t mind posting or writing about the things I do, but sometimes if I am extra happy and I just can’t contain it. I just have to express it and writing is that outlet for me. It has become that way for many others who aren’t even writers.

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about having ‘that voice’ to say something out loud even if what I may be posting is something I don’t want a lot of attention over.

And, if I want to express “Today was not a good day…” then a lot of my Facebook friends who love and care about me might comment when I really don’t want that attention - I just had a need to express myself. I can put that same post on twitter and have the satisfaction that one person out there who may be ‘following’ my tweets, saw that I was having a bad day – yet they don’t know me well enough to comment and I feel safe to have expressed my mood without having to explain it.

Or when I am excited or happy about something that I just can’t keep inside, yet I am not ready to tell close friends on Facebook every detail - I can tweet it. It feels good to express ourselves in whatever way we can. Some people paint, some sing – I write. I write A LOT. So to tell what I feel on twitter is pretty superficial. There is no way that I can sum up my feelings in 140 characters.

Men seem to be able to do this. In fact, most men I know are ‘choppy’. They are straight to the point guys and they don’t have to use all those words to get their point across. That is why I think Twitter was created for men. They can tweet just enough to be social and let others know what they are thinking and they do it in 140 characters or less.

Some of you women may snicker thinking that when a man tweets what he is thinking – it isn’t much because ‘men don’t think’, but we really know that isn’t true. Men are thinkers, but for some reason they can condense their thoughts and compact them neatly in just a few matter-of-fact words.

I envy men of this. I never liked the stereo type women are put under that ‘we talk too much’. When I am in a group setting I do not talk much at all. When I am on a date, I usually don’t talk much, because my ‘many words’ in my head are doing acrobats as I am thinking, over thinking and processing what someone is saying.

There are times when I do talk a lot. If someone strikes a chord with something I am passionate about, or if a topic of conversation is something I went through and learned from and I want to share what I learned.

I also talk a lot when I am writing. There is something about having a pen in my hand or to be in front of a keyboard that literally opens the floodgates of words. I seem to observe a lot and I appreciate what I see and what I learn so I just have a lot to ‘say’. But in person, the right words don’t come or I don’t have a thesaurus handy or the time to think about my grammar or the ability to go back and ‘correct it’.

Sometimes I will hear men say that women talk a lot and I want to say, “Look who is calling the kettle black!” But if a man were to say that, he would sum it up with “Kettle… you’re black,” and his point would be made.

Men have a way of summing things up. When I correspond with my boss in emails, he is very short and to the point. Whenever I get a few choppy sentences that make a whole paragraph, I feel as though I had gotten an hour of face time!

There are some men who are talkers and they won’t stop talking! My Papa was this way. He would talk so much that when someone tried to show in their body language that they wanted to move on, he would grab their arm and make them stay until he finished! Papa was a talker! But… as a man he still was to the point. He just had a lot of points and, the older he got, sometimes he repeated those points.

Whenever I tried online dating, I seemed to only connect with someone if they wrote more than 140 characters. If they could speak my language and express themselves in letter form, that would be the person I would consider meeting. I did not like the way online dating evolves though. It was that whole ‘reading a book and seeing the movie’ thing – what I saw in letters was never the same when I actually saw them in person. We tend to ‘imagine’ what a character from a book is like and reality has nothing to do with that person as much as our perception from what we read. So I personally don’t put much stock in online dating though it worked for one of my sisters.

When I was introduced by a friend to my summer romance this past year - it was different than online dating. He was not a stranger that could shine me on – he was someone my friend knew and I was able to learn more about him from more than just what he told me. But it was in our writing correspondence where I really got to know him. I think when a man makes himself sit down to write and decides to use more than 140 characters it changes what he opens up about. Some men never budge and don’t quite know how to express themselves at all much less in writing form, but when they do – there is a lot that they say – even if it is still neatly compacted into fewer words.

Lately, I have been corresponding with a friend that I have known since we were in diapers. Reverting back to my ‘giving a code name’ for an interest before I know how it will turn out - I will just call this person “Deep”. Deep and I reconnected through Facebook and have had a wonderful time reminiscing as well as catching up. If he only used 140 character’s I am not sure we would have gotten very far in getting to know each other, but luckily Deep is… well deep.

With the distance between Tennessee and Kentucky, I appreciate the fact that he can say so much in letters that helps me to know a lot more about him than if we were able to talk face to face.

Studies have shown that men do use fewer words than women. I am not sure why and I am not going to say that it is always better. Sometimes there are negative undertones about women being so wordy. I think we use so many words because we constantly hear a man say, “I just can’t understand women!” We women just want to help them to understand. The trouble comes when we women don’t understand ourselves. To try to explain what we want to a man when we don’t really know is pretty tricky and …we will never admit to not knowing. That is why it is our ‘prerogative to change our minds’.

The male/female communication issues have gone on since a little walk in the Garden of Eden …and so has the blame game. But we still try to communicate and we still try to figure out our counter species.

We seem to admire each other for our differences and are intrigued with how we are both made up. But the minute something goes wrong – we also gather up our homies from our own species and celebrate the fact that we are different.

I like to think I am a ‘pragmatic dreamer’. I think, but I also dream. I explore and have vision, but I also am very realistic and I usually do know what I want. That is why I don’t think I have trouble communicating.

When I socialize on Facebook I like receiving comments from my friends (when I am not in a weird mood). I like commenting on their things and I like when they comment on mine. Most of the time I do like the attention – there are just those few times when I am unsure of my feelings, that I will pop over to Twitter and tweet a mood that I may not understand and it challenges me to do that in 140 characters.

By observing men and their online correspondence, I have learned a lot as they ‘keep it simple’. I have also learned a lot from my boss’s short hand emails and learned how to spell “thnx” (though I am only saving two letters).

I admire how men sum up so much in a neat little package and sometimes I wish that I could do that. But when it comes to the written word, I think I am comparable to Niagara Falls and, Twitter remains only for my marketing purposes.

Go ahead you men and tweet your 140 characters of the meaning of life. You have that talent and I applaud you.

jen@jenjeffrey.com


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