Twitter overload? Reminds me of amber

For the past week, I’ve been actively tweeting and reading tweets. As I mastered Facebook (or at least mastered it to the level that I needed to) to reach out to the fans of my web series and feature film Almost a Turkish Soap Opera, I want to be just as comfortable with Twitter to reach out to my book fans and author friends.

Today for some reason, I felt a bit overwhelmed. With the growing number of followers and tweets I have been getting, my smart phone kept beeping every other minute every time a new follower adds me or when my messages are retweeted. It’s obvious that the more people follow me, the more messages I will be receiving. And hey, I told myself, isn’t that the whole point?

What I’m not used to is that now when I check Twitter, I feel like I’m being bombarded with tweets asking to “buy this or check that”. Previously I had kept my Twitter account just for my close circle of friends so following tweets then seemed easy–no pressure, no sifting through tons of messages. But today, now that I’m using Twitter for more than just sending the occasional joke to my close circle of friends, and with the growing number of followers, I suddenly felt slightly discombobulated.

It felt like the day, years ago, when I was visiting the Middle East and venturing out to the local sook (what we call a bazaar). As I walked by each stall, the vendors were yelling out to me in Arabic to buy their wares. The deeper I wandered into the sook, the more overwhelmed I felt. Visibly, I stood out like a sore thumb. I was obviously a tourist, not a local and they were targeting me to spend my dollars in their stall.

amber jewelry

Part of me wanted to escape back to my nice little hotel room but the adventurous side of me decided to walk further into the depths of the market. In the middle of the noise, I spotted a little table filled with beautiful bracelets made of amber gems. The amber glowed like warm hot bubbles of honey. Behind the table was a sweet older woman, her head covered in a yellow hijab, and she was busily making a bracelet. I watched in awe, bedazzled by how swift her fingers picked up the stones and fed them onto the plastic wiring. She didn’t look me in the eye, although I knew she knew I was standing there watching. Finally she finished making the bracelet and she looked up at me. Deep lines etched around her eyes revealing a hard life. As she looked at me, I noticed her eyes were the same colour as the Amber gems, shiny and warm. She smiled at me then, a toothless smile and handed out the bracelet she just finished making. I took the bracelet and admired it. Then I fumbled into my purse to pull out some money. She closed my hand around the bracelet and motioned for me to put the money away. I smiled politely and nodded my head. I thanked her in broken Arabic and put the bracelet on my wrist. I waved to her good-bye. I walked down past a few stalls and turned to see if she was still there. I saw a younger woman speaking to the old woman. It seemed she was relieving her for a break as the old woman got up and then went to the back of the stall. I quickly went back to the table and the younger woman greeted me. I asked her in broken Arabic where the old woman was. She said to me in English, “My mother? She is going to prepare meal for the family now.” I smiled. I took a look at all the bracelets on the table. They were so beautiful and in my heart I knew that each of them were lovingly made. I ended up buying up the whole table. The young woman thanked me profusely and I told her, “Tell your mother… she has a unique talent and a good heart. I am the one most grateful for her kindness.”

Which me brings back to Twitter…
In all the Twitter noise of “buy my this and check my that”, I stumbled upon a tweet that made me stop and reflect. The tweet post read ““: Touch her heart… not her body. Steal her attention.. not her virginity. Make her smile… don’t waste her tears.” I retweeted it just because it was a tweet that was honest. There was no intention to get something from me or lure me to check out a site. And a few minutes later, the author of the tweet, tweeted me back asking me “What r u up to?” which started a nice twitter conversation. I found out that she was an Arab-Brit, a student living in London with her family and she was busy studying for her mid term exams. She told me that she tweets every hour to break the monotony of studying. I told her that I enjoy her tweets and encouraged her to put all her tweets together and maybe one day she can publish it as a book of Tweet poetry. She said In Shallah, God willing, she will do just that.

So what I learned about Twitter is that in between the “buy my this and check my that” noise, I know that I’ll find little gems and meet new Twitter friends which is in itself worth the experience. And I don’t mind checking out some of the Buy my this and check my that tweets because I may find gems there too such as meeting new author friends, finding good books to read and catching great tips on social media marketing. Well, let’s leave it at that. So tweet ya later, till my next post.

Oh and almost forgot, if you want to follow me into the Twittersphere, my handle is @write2film. And if you feel like joining my tribe, click here to subscribe.

Thanks for visiting and come again soon. I’ll have some fresh Hallah bread waiting for you.

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