It’s Been Forever and It Feels Like It!

I almost don’t know where to begin. It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve really posted anything that really relates to me. I even had to go back to an old device to even be able to do this because I have no idea what my username and password is. 😂

So why am I here? A lot has changed since I last wrote. I am now in the process of divorce, which has taken almost 1.5 years to do, and living on my own for the first time in my life.

I’ve acquired a lot of new friends over the past two years who have helped me on my journey along with my own therapy so my need for therapy through blogging wasn’t really a need. 

I’m also on the eve of my 45th birthday, which I will spend alone, and have passed 2000 days without sexual intercourse. I am also nearly back to my heaviest. It’s been a rough two years. 

I’m here again, because I feel I’m in a bit of limbo with the friends I’ve acquired but I still have things to process and talk about. What I am going to write here would normally be written to one of my online friends, but things feel different now so I don’t know if I want to share with them. 

To start last time I wrote about my marriage we were simply in counseling. Mainly working on the lack of sex issue. I felt we were ok but I wanted to be better and if we could get over the lack of sex (4 years at that point) then we could. However through getting out of my cacoon through socializing on Twitter, I learned just how messed up my relationship was. Also through marriage counseling I learned what I thought was an issue was merely a symptom of larger problems. 

At the end of the day it came down to us just not being wired the same. She had no understanding of my needs so no desire to met them. 

The main reason the divorce has taken so long is not because of fighting but because we decided to keep it from the kids, have a transistion period and then she lost her job. Since then finances have been extremely difficult. 

So now I’m dealing. Trying to figure it out. I’ve experienced some happiness and I know life can feel better, it’s just seeming elusive for me. That’s what I’m going to be writing about. Here, hidden away from the eyes of Twitter and my followers. Casting my words out to the universe out from under watching and judging eyes. Hopefully the lack of acknowledgement will cause me to move on and not stay in this mindset because it garners me attention in likes and retweets. Maybe I’ll find true happiness instead of fake ones bolstered by the high or stranger recognition. 

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My Twitter Experience Part 2: The Emotional Side

I guess I should premise this with saying I am a typical comedian. I crave adulation and affirmation. That is the glasses that I see this experience through.

Comedy seems to be the one area of my life where instead if pushing a boulder uphill it feels like it is rolling downhill. From colums, stand-up, blogs and now Twitter it seems in comedy there is someone else saying, “Hey, look at this guy!” instead of me saying, “Hey, look at me!”

Like I said in Part 1, I was really surprised by the community that is Twitter that I found myself in. Much like RL there are circles (neighborhoods) that one can become a part of. People you know or faces you recognize. It pulls you in and you are no longer ON your phone but IN your phone.

On the eve of my 2 month anniversary I hit 1000 followers. I was so excited to do it but once it passed (I mean almost the minute it passes) I felt let down. They say your first 1000 is the hardest and I would say I believe that. I’ve added 200+ followers in 4 days since.

It does come obvious to me that I am no more socially functioning online than I am in real life. I am rittled with social anxiety. “Did that come across right? Am I being too ‘Hey! Look at me!’ in a DM room? Did I thank that person is a sincere enough way? How do I respond to this @? Why didn’t this tweet take off? What do new people think when they come to my TL? Is my best work on top? What if my last stuff is lame? Can I keep this rate of material up? Why does this guy’s dumb tweet have more retweets?” And the list goes on and on.

There is also the relationship side of it. In a lot of ways the same as in real life. Relationships (to me friendships) are a lot of work. DM rooms even make it harder. If I haven’t been an active member of a room (I “lurk” which means keeping up with the conversation but not talking due to RL activities) I don’t feel right dropping my tweets in. There are also times where I feel like I wouldn’t hang with these people in real life but here I am online.

I saw a tweet once that said,”The theme song for Twitter is Elenor Rigby”. I felt that was very appropriate. It is a lot of lonely people. People on the verge of divorce, SAHMs looking for non-kid contact. Introverts galore. It more like Facebook where people can be “real”.

This also leads to the time consuming process of a TL. It has been eating into my work and home life. I check Twitter several times an hour at work and wasted almost all of last weekend on it. Is that something I really want in my life? Can I maintain a balance given my need for adulation and the stimulus that Twitter gives me?

But is that adulation real? No. If I were to die would any of the friends I’ve made even know? Are they all just searching for a person to talk to as well that it really doesn’t matter who it is?

I mean, there must be some connection but we’re not even dealing with real names. We’re like characters of our own making. If I stopped coming would anyone go looking for me?

So it makes me wonder what am I not getting in my real life that is making Twitter so attractive?

On the plus side, Twitter is giving me confidence back in my humor side. I’m finding myself more willing to crack a joke in RL than I used to be. I still haven’t told my wife about Twitter yet and I’m not sure how many followers I need for her to be “impressed”.

But the down side is my concern about “success” on Twitter. Even now when I used to be elated at 1-2 likes and retweets, if a tweet doesn’t get 20 I feel it was a dud. I see larger accounts (40,000+) getting 500 likes for “I have a cat” and I wonder if they are blinded by that. That they think, “I am Humor Incarnate! Everything I think is gold!” I also see very stupid tweets running up the retweets and I wonder.

I guess I’m just struggling with the time it takes to Twitter and be a part of this community. Is it worth it? 

What will it lead to? 

“You know, 20,000 followers won’t get anyone to love me more.”

My Twitter Experience (so far?).

After two months on Twitter I have gained over 1000 followers and have several tweets with over 100 likes and retweets. Here is what I’ve learned and felt during the process.

Four months ago I made a change to this blog. It wasn’t intentional but after posting a couple of jokes that garnered a little more attention than my standard “therapy through blogging” post, I  started to lean that way. Most my jokes were short sentences accompanied with a graphic of some sort as graphics tend to catch people’s attention more. The overriding theme was my Marital Faux Pas string of joke.
One of (if not my only) regular readers suggested heading to Twitter since my format seemed well suited for it. Since I already had a very small account made up mainly of relatives who don’t use their accounts, I started off there. I redid a couple of jokes from here and with the assistance of my reader/friend got some basic starting tips.

After a week I felt I needed to have a separate account from my personal one so I created @MaritalFauxPas. Most of my early posts were family and marriage oriented so I started following and in turn followed by dad and family accounts. I got to about 50 followers with no real traction in the “likes” and “retweet” department. I was getting frustrated and returned here to vent a little. My reader/friend sat me down, gave me a couple more pointers and then I return back to Twitter to give it another shot.

During the next week, I got my first retweet. 

“My memory foam bed has developed Alzheimer’s.”

(It was a joke I came up with about 12 years. I premise that people a couple people said “I’ve seen assimilate joke before.”)

Now before I continue I may need to give out some terms:

DM: Direct Messaging. One to one or can be done as a group in a chat room format.

TL: Twitter Life. Mainly refers to your page where it lists your bio, tweets and retweets.

RL: Real Life.

Avi: Avitar. 

Now back to my first retweet. At this time I only had 45 followers but I was excited. My retweeter was a woman whose profile and Avi conveyed a mix of class and debaucary. I DM her to thank her for the retweet (and in my own mind congratulate her on being the first to recognize my greatness!).

She responded and it sort of freaked me out. She wasn’t aggressive, but more like someone who has been assigned the task of training a new employee. She knew the ropes and was trying to get me up to speed quickly. She was throwing terms around so fast it made my head spin. She was asking about being in any DM groups and if I had any other accounts. That’s where some alarms were going off. “Is she trying to deduce my really identity in order to steal it?” It was all new to me.

All my worry was unfounded. She truly wanted to help me and has become a good friend. She got me into my first DM (in this respect is the chat room kind) which helped a lot. There are about 20 people in it who come and go. I was able to ask questions and drop tweets for them to like and retweet.

Side note: After a while you have so much follower and following activity the standard Twitter feed (home) moves so fast that you can’t keep up. DM drops is one way to get your stuff read. Most stuff is read by people visiting each other’s profiles.

The DM room was great. We had people from all over the world so there was usually someone there at anytime. I was obviously the newb so I was able to get a lot of advice.

1) don’t #. It’s not the magic traffic bullet it’s been sold as. Twitter searches work on everything and unless there is a specific hashtag trending, #humor is not going to get people looking at your TL. Think of it as something your parents are doing now.

2) Retweet others but not yourself. I was surprised how much of a community Twitter actually is. It is almost like HS. You have your close circle of friends, your people you see at parties and the people you see in the halls. If you spend time on Twitter you’ll see faces appearing again and again. Show others the ultimate love with retweets. Be thankful when they show your TL some good attention. Don’t make your TL all about you.

3) Don’t be a serial @er. An @ is when you send a public tweet to a specific person or people using their @ name. They are nice to get and give from time to time but if you do them too much it loses meaning.

4) Start a DM cautiously. I am talking about one on one here. To women opening a DM is like opening a diaper. There is a good chance it is going to be nasty. I’ve apologized for my gender A LOT. The following DM poem is based on actual DMs people I know have gotten. It’s not pretty.

“A DM Poem:

I want to have the sex on you

Please send me you’r breast, no face

Horni me rub in you all night

And lick you in stinki place.”

5) If you want to grow contests are a good way. At least in the circles I am in there are several people who are contest crazy. Really all you win is a 🏆 and a shout out, but they can get the juices flowing. Search contests and there are several accounts that just do them. Also some people create them for fun or to find new people to retweet.

6) Lists are a good way to follow specific people. Like I said before it can be hard to keep up with everyone so a list is like a short feed made up of who you pick. It can be public (others can follow and know they are on the list) or private for personal use only. 

7) Block and “soft” block. There is a true block. Where you can’t see them and they can’t see you. I’ve also heard of a “soft” block. It where you block someone which unfollows them and they unfollow you, but then you unblock them and hope they forget about you. I don’t see the purpose of the soft block but some people prefer it.

8) Favstar and Twitter search links. They are good ways for readers to search just your stuff when visiting your TL. You can follow the links on my page, copy them, change the @ to yours and post on yours.

9) Keep graphics to a minimum. Twitter likes to thumbnail graphics so it causes people to have to make a second step to view them. 

So through writing good tweets, building relationships, DM rooms, and retweeting I was able to build up to 1200 followers in 2 months. 

That is the mechanics of it. This post is getting long and my device is lagging so I’ll end it here and follow up with the emotional side.