Twitter just celebrated its 10th birthday, and some of us are still baffled by this sweeping phenomenon. With over one billion tweets every two days, calling Twitter a phenomenon may even be an understatement.
But, come on. Does the world really care about what you are thinking about having for dinner? Who really needs to know about that #TBT to an #EpicFail moment you had in college?
Well, I clearly don’t know anything about Twitter if I think #TBT is a thing (pointed out to me by my editor)…. but my perspective on what Twitter is all about has changed.
Twitter NYC hosted an event in partnership with Empowered Women to launch #PositionOfStrength in the US. This initiative seeks to create a safe and secure online experience that empowers women’s voices and encourages them to speak out from a #PositionOfStrength online.
I never expected to be so moved and inspired by how Twitter can help us use our distinct voices to make a positive impact.
The program featured bold women who are making their mark through the help of creatively crafted 140 character tweets.
Newbies like me were also given invaluable tips such as do NOT tweet using more than two hashtags. The panelists also provided advice regarding how to choose which tone of voice we wish each tweet to embody. You must ask yourself, “is the tweet full of personality, insight or information?” (Choose two of the three if you are looking for any engagement…)
These trailblazers shared their personal experiences in building a strong Twitter following and finding balance and sanity within it all, especially when it comes to handling negative remarks or abuse.
The women agreed to ‘think before you tweet, or retweet’ and that your goal should always be to uplift potentially damaging conversations with a more positive spin.
The room was bustling with agreement. I was sitting amongst women who have heard a fair share of snark remarks and yet, they still refuse to allow their voices to be silenced.
The next panel discussion was moderated by Patricia Cartes, Head of Trust & Safety Outreach for Twitter Public Policy. At this moment, I felt that the whole program came together for me. It went from making Twitter a safe space to communicate to Twitter can be a tool to create real, lasting and positive social change.
Don’t get me wrong, the latter can never be possible without first creating a secure platform with zero tolerance for harassment and abuse, but suddenly grasping how the online and offline worlds relate was a big moment for me.
Jamia Wilson, Carla Franklin and Nancy Schwartcman have each taken their passions and experiences to create that link between the two worlds. These women empower other women through technology and encourage them to use technology as an outlet to speak out from a #PositionOfStrength.
They advocate that we should never be silenced by any form of abuse and instead communicate fearlessly because that courage becomes contagious. They also serve as advisers that help Twitter consistently better its public policy.
I am honored to have been around so many amazing women and I would love to go on and on about all of the event attendees and speakers. But it is time to sign off, and leave you with my takeaway that will guide me beyond my online endeavors:
- Learn to forgive yourself. You did not deserve that abuse so do not be silent anymore.
- You are not alone! Lean on loved ones because it is harder to break sticks that are in a bunch.
- Your voice, your spirit matter most of all, so give yourself the time for self-care. You can always remove yourself, take a break and return when you are ready.
Cover photo by @