Why I’m Optimistic About The Future (Hint: It’s Not Twitter)

Yesterday I caused my first Twitter furor.

Like many, I’m a nobody on Twitter (fewer than 100 followers).  I’ve lurked for years following a few family members, some Wall St. investors, and some media people that I like.  I follow a couple of teams, and my kids school.

Given my small number of followers, my posts never have any impact.  Occasionally, I’ll get a like here or there.  Once or twice I’ve even gotten a retweet!  So when I talk about a furor, I’m talking about a furor by my standards, not overall.

Yesterday, I had the audacity to reply to a Greg Wrubell tweet about the BYU quarterback expressing my opinion that his accomplishments paled in comparison to continued losses against BYU’s rival Utah (I don’t feel the need to repeat it here – you can look it up at @MattWilles).  If you’d like to have a civil conversation about my opinion, feel free to call, text, or email me.  I could easily have deleted the tweet and moved on with my life.  I didn’t.

Mr. Wrubell felt the need to “call” me “out” and alert his significantly larger following to my opinion.  I was called shallow and an idiot.  Evidently, I’m a “prick” and an “ass.”  I was told that I must not be a “true” fan, that I didn’t deserve my season tickets, and that I could keep my donations (that’s the funniest one to me – I thought full disclosure was a good thing).  Overall, I’ve been called worse, but it still wasn’t much fun.

Each response received what was hopefully a polite response from me.  I received one nice tweet from someone recognizing that my responses were civil.  I looked, and he also has fewer than 100 followers.  Evidently, being nice on Twitter isn’t a recipe to generate buzz, but I’m grateful for his response.  It was the only public one.

The micro Twitter furor I created yesterday is instructive and disheartening.

Last night I was watching MNF and monitoring Twitter before I was going to snow blow the driveway.  Just then my wife said that our 15 year old had finished his homework and was outside shoveling the walk without being asked.  A couple of minutes later my 12 year old walked in and announced he was going to go help him.

I put my phone down, shut off the television, put my shoes on, and went outside to express gratitude and help finish up.  When I got outside my 15 year old, James, was gone.  He had finished at our place and was across the street doing the neighbor’s.

Yes, I’m optimistic about the future.

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