An evolution seems to be underway in my personal Twitterverse - which is composed of the 190 tweeps I have carefully selected to follow (and includes the peeps they follow and RT). It is changing from a ego-centric platform leveraged to "brand" oneself to this warm, kind, gentle, self-depricating, accountable, and conscientious world - that not only pushes messages, but also receives them. This makes me wonder, is this what listening is in 2011?
I am honestly a more aware, informed, and human person for having logged on today and reading (or "listening" to) the tweets of my "tweeps". This community is one in which I feel priviledged to be a part of (as it is "invitation only" in regards to mutual acceptance), and one in which leaders and followers co-exist in the old-fashioned and appropriate "best people rise to the top" manner.
However, I also control this universe. If I feel someone's tweets have become too self serving or perhaps have moved too far in the self-righteous direction, or are just mean-spiritied or unfunny, then I simply "unfollow" (stop listening) them. But all in all - it seems to be popular these days to be sending out messages that help, inspire, and oddly, bring us together in a more human way. Of course, hilarious pithy comments are enjoyed by all - but I am really digging that Twitter provides that and a little something more.
Facebook, although it seems to only be evolving as fast as actual people can, still helps us to listen better. Particularly to ourselves.
Facebook is the mirror reflecting the number and quality of your friends, a personal history of your hair metamorphises, a public account of your triumphs and failures, and a diary to record it all and remind us that we are all too human - and none of it really seems to matter without someone else to hear about it. It's a reflection also of the world we can't control. I mean, Facebook is made up of the people you actually do know. The ones that you chat with in the copy room, perform with on stage, wake up with in the same house, pass gravy to at the Thanksgiving table. These are the people that, like it or not, you can't "unfollow" (or stop listening to), without some unsavory consequences anyway.
But like a rudimentary tin can telephone, reception is only possible when both ends of the string are pulled tight, and an ear is open to hearing. And with more talking - albeit in the form of tweets, status updates, blogs, pings, texts....there is more listening. And that's always a good thing.