A Childhood Lesson from Twitter


April 1, 2013 by Katia

The realization that the world may not think I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread came to me as a huge shock around my eighteenth birthday when a much older man, a customer I was servicing as part of my government job at the time, was yelling at me, waving his arms around and getting all red in the face. Realizing that the world most DEFINITELY doesn’t think I am the greatest thing since sliced bread came to me when I moved continents at the age of thirty and realized that Canada hadn’t been expecting me and was not as ecstatic about my arrival as my mom would expect it to be. Not only was there no red carpet rolled out when our plane landed but my husband and I got slapped with a formal neighbour complaint about our dog barking when on our first day in the new country we had to leave our pet for a few hours to go furniture shopping. Don’t get me wrong I personally never thought I was all that great. I am self-doubt-ridden, painfully self-conscious and constantly feel like I am doing and saying the wrong thing and being judged on that. It takes me forever to feel comfortable around new people. So yeah, I’m not that big on me at all, except my mom programmed me to believe that by and large the world is not with me on that one.  

The first time World finally got on board with my mom and behaved the way she would expect it to was when I was pregnant for the first time and started showing. People greeted me and smiled everywhere I went, complimented me and gave up their seats on the subway. And so from across the ocean bridging over a seven hour gap my mom would surface in that subway car every time and remind me how blind and blinding her all encompassing love was. With the sheer power of her love she managed to instill a sense in me that I was a gift. That I could do anything. ANYTHING and the world would stand up and cheer. But was this ultimately a constructive or a destructive notion?


When I started my second maternity leave and my blog I really got into Twitter. Any beginner knows that much like in real life, people will inevitably unfollow you on social media, with the only exception that it’ll be much less gradual and more noticeable on the latter. Yet despite expecting it to happen and accepting that it comes with the territory, unfollows somehow feel a lot more personal on Twitter than anywhere else. It’s not Facebook that your “unfollower” rejects, it’s not the fact that you haven’t been in each other’s lives for ages or that you never really knew each other all that well to begin with, it’s you, encapsulated in 140 characters,  that they are no longer interested in. It’s you. And contrary to anything my mom ever taught me it is, in fact, possible that someone somewhere in this world is just not that into me. As I was contemplating unfollows, I once tweeted that the best way to teach your child that the world may not always agree with you, was to put them on Twitter. I was only partially kidding. While I don’t plan to be making social media decisions for my 3 year old and 7 month old anytime soon, I do think that they should know they won’t always be embraced by everyone around them nor should they strive to please all. When 3 Year Old wears his brand new Batman shirt to nursery school and tells me that “everyone will cheer” as much as my heart prays for that scenario to materialize itself, I tell him that some may not like his shirt. It may not be everyone’s taste, but the important thing is that he likes it. Twitter and blogging taught me self-acceptance and validation. At the tender age of thirty something.



How do you feel about Twitter?

16 thoughts on “A Childhood Lesson from Twitter

  1. canigetanotherbottleofwhine says:

    I love Twitter…too much. I’ve realized that people stop following for various reasons. Whether it’s because I didn’t immediately follow them back or because I send out too many tweets or have too many conversations – who knows. Everybody’s different in what they want out of Twitter. but it can be a little painful when you lose multiple followers in one day. Gah!

    • Katia says:

      You’re absolutely right, it makes no sense to try and guess someone’s reason for unfollowing you and what’s the point, really. BTW, I don’t feel like you send too many tweets 🙂

  2. Julie DeNeen says:

    When I first joined twitter, I was shocked at the unfollow rate. Now…well I’m over it. 😛 People unfollow me constantly. LOL

  3. Roshni says:

    To tell you the truth, I don’t even check my Twitter stats so I have no idea how many times I’ve been unfollowed! On the other hand, I do get that sinking feeling when I see how many are ‘talking’ about me on my Facebook page! 😀

    • Katia says:

      I know, Roshni! All of these numbers we didn’t know we cared about constantly thrown at us and then we NEED to know! It’s so addictive.

  4. Rich Rumple says:

    I’ve been on Twitter for about six months and still don’t know much about it. Working full time and blogging just about take up all of my time. I usually (like yours) sign up for email notifications to ensure I don’t miss my favorites. Strong post!

    • Katia says:

      Thank you so much, Rich, for the kind and supportive words. Yes, it’s hard to find the time between a full time job and blogging, I agree. It’s funny, just before reading your comment I was 100 sit ups to a mental note of about 100 other things to do while baby naps (twitter wasn’t one of them, but somehow it ends up weaseling its way in). When I go back to full time work, it’s really going to get in the way of my tweetering 🙂

  5. lisanewlin says:

    This is an excellent post and a great point! I know exactly what you mean about Twitter. I only started using it a few weeks ago, and I haven’t noticed if anyone has unfollowed me but I’m sure they have. In a way, I don’t want to know either, because I kind of feel like you do, like “Um, I’m awesome, why wouldn’t you want to follow me?”

    You’re teaching your kids the right thing by pointing out you can’t make everyone happy all the time and sometimes people won’t like you. BUT, everyone will love the Batman shirt. Everyone.

    • Katia says:

      :-)) You are awesome. If anyone unfollows you, it’s only because you didn’t follow back, OK? (that’s what I tell myself and it works).

      Thanks so much, Lisa. Batman shirt answer revised. Stat. 😀

  6. Kerri says:

    I am twitter-phobic. But I appreciate your post on how we let the World decide our worth

    • Katia says:

      Sad, but true. Reading your comment I’m realizing another post I wrote last week for another blog has to do with the same. I’ll post a link on Thursday. Thank you so much for your comment!

  7. crystaljigsaw says:

    A lot of accounts on Twitter are set up in order to gain followers and once they’ve reached a certain amount, they unfollow you. There are also lots of marketers on there who do the same thing. I won’t follow on Twitter unless I find them interesting or they interact. Buy my followers go up and down so much, every day.

    CJ x

    • Katia says:

      That’s interesting. I did notice that some people with tens of thousands of followers followed and then unfollowed me but I didn’t realize it was so calculated. Yuck.

  8. Ariel Bernstein says:

    I joined twitter this year as a way to find parenting blogs and see if I could get mine noticed. I’ve been very successful at the former (such as finding this one!) and slowly getting there with the latter. I didn’t realize I’d like twitter just for the funny tweets out there but it can get addictive reading them all 🙂

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