Do You Lie When You Twitter?

Very few people I know have a bad day.

Let me correct that.  All the people I know have bad days and discouraging moments.

It’s just the people I hang around on twitter seem not to.  Everyone is so pumped to be part of an organization, has the perfect wife that they can’t believe married them, loves their family and is excited about the future.

Now to some extent that’s true, I’m sure.  I have a great wife, love working with the team at Connexus, am thankful for my kids and have moments where I’m downright pumped about the future.  But Toni and I argue and don’t always agree on things.  There are good days and bad days in ministry.  My kids are great but we have conflict.  And I’m mostly pumped about the future, but some days I get discouraged.

Confession:  I tend not to tweet the junk.  At times it means there is silence.  At times I find the one positive thing I can tweet about.

Second Confession: I don’t like following negative people.  I’ve actually stopped following people who are overly negative or rant all the time.  I love authenticity, but I don’t like negativism.

Third Confession:  I’m not sure I want to tweet a struggle because I would never want to throw a co-worker, friend or anyone in my world under the bus intentionally or unintentionally.  It’s just not fair.

I find blog posts and sermons the easiest to be ‘truthful’ on because they are longer and invite dialogue and explanation. But I won’t criticize anyone there either because I think it’s a bit unfair and unwise.   I can be self-reflective and self-critical because at least on blogs and in messages there’s a context for junk (at least my personal junk) and joy (shared joy or personal joy).  Personal differences are just that – personal, and they should be worked out one on one face to face.

It’s even easier to be self-reflective on a blog or in a message because you have time and a few minutes or words for context.  Twitter’s and Facebook statuses are so hard because they are so short.

That said, when you tweet, blog, or update your status on Facebook, how do you tell the truth?  Are we putting up false fronts?  Building up false personas?  How do you tell the truth and still encourage others?  Is our on-line personae actually the real ‘us’?  How can the real you be accurately known in social media?


  1. Carey on January 8, 2010 at 11:15 am

    It’s funny. This post turned out very differently than I thought it would. I’m a bit surprised at the consensus that twitter, FB and other online media are not the place to air our issues. Well said.

    Other thoughts? Opposing views?

  2. Faye Zevenbergen on January 7, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Well, I do twitter and I do facebook and I do linked in and all of these are marketing tools used to promote myself and more specifically my business.

    I do not believe that the world of the internet need know or should know when I am struggling personally with someone or something. It is irrelavant and inappropriate. Do you share with everyone when your spouse and yourself have had an argument… I doubt it and really should everyone know… Nope

    Also, if like me you use social media to promote a business, we all know there is a difference between a personal life as well as your career self although obviously your personality and how you deal with things generally are the same in both scenerios, but personal self should stay at home, it is professionalism.

    Personal issues etc… should be given more private outlets, you could really hurt someone by publically announcing your personal frustration with them or the situation. That’s what I believe private phone calls, coffees with friends and conversations with others that are close to you are for. I think it is rather inappropriate and not at all dishonest to not share these private matters in ones life.

    Am I being truthful? Absoloutely I am! I am showing what my business stands for and we give 200% every day to ensure we meet those expectations set forth in our social media outlets.

    I started my business for a reason and the biggest reason is my passion for business and my dissatisfaction of what was available to clients who need services such as mine.

    When I do feel professionally discouraged, I have been wonderfully surrounded with higher level professionals that have been willing to share their struggles with me on the road to success as well as what did and did not work for them. From that I am always encouraged as I remember that bumps in the road are actually growth spurts and learning curves and for that I am truly PUMPED!

    One very smart business man shared with me that in order to conquer a business problem, we have to be of the mindset that we are bigger than the problem and then the problem which is now smaller in our minds is really not that hard to deal with! Wow…. that little bit of physcology really affected how I am able to cope with the stresses of a business.

  3. Shef on January 7, 2010 at 9:32 am

    The Weather in Dallas stinks!…Texans are strange people…those two things I tweeted about in the last 24 hours. One of those completely harmless to anyone specific and the other is picking a fight for fun.

    I think you are right. Every time I see someone Tweet something negative about an issue or themselves I assume they are trying to let someone else know they are mad (because they didn’t have the guts to in person)…or looking for attention. I don’t know if that is true…that’s just what I assume.

    Blogs are better for this….at least that is what the first three days of my blog life have taught me.

    Thanks Carey

  4. Rebekah on January 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I try to find the one positive thing to say. Usually, if I’m talking about the weather, it means there’s a lot going on and the one thing I could say is that it’s sunny out, and I like that. 🙂

    I don’t enjoy reading other people’s negative tweets or FB updates. I also don’t like it when someone says something that is DESIGNED to get a sympathetic or worried response out of me. When a friend’s tweet/update is something like that, it shows the depth of our friendship. If they are a true friend I will inquire about what is going on (privately). If they are an acquaintance, I am likely to roll my eyes and keep going. (Which, I admit, shows that sometimes my heart is very small.)

    And I absolutely despise it when people put comments about their fights with friends/loved ones/spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend up. Some things just shouldn’t be aired that publicly.

    I agree that in a sermon or in a blog, you have space to go deeper into an issue or problem, and therefore it can be handled much more appropriately.

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