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Twitter: More Addicting Than Facebook?

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"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties." - Erich Fromm

Twitter has me hooked - up to a certain point. This reminds me of the famous, good-looking Antiguan cricketer who, when asked if he was married, told me: up to a point. I was curious enough about Twitter to sign up for another place to introduce what I write.

Then I saw a game: build your number of followers. No sooner had I had that thought than I seemed to draw to my attention any number of Twitterers who would be willing to raise my followers by huge amounts in a short space of time, for a price. Fair enough.

I did notice that those who apparently started Twitter had over half a million followers. If indeed they are who they say they are. Britney Spears seems to have over 700,000 followers. Either she, or her manager, do send in a lot of Tweets. 10 Downing Street, home and offices of the British Prime Minister has over 400,000 followers. CNN Breaking News over 1,000,000.

However, as a game, raising followers did not appeal to me enough to pursue it. The intention with my writing is less about numbers alone, and more about raising the value for readers, such that more people may want to read what I have to say.

On the other hand, I have contacted, or been contacted by, some really lovely people, genuinely offering personal or spiritual development, imaginative products and links to fascinating or fun information. It is a random thing: who happens to show up when I log in; then notifications when someone is following me. I love the randomness.

It can be very time consuming, unless I am consciously aware of the time I am spending Twittering, and the value it might have for me at the time.

A reader of my last week's article 8 Ways To Find The Power Of Love In Fear wrote to me:

"Fear seems to be even more rampant at the moment". To which I responded: I think the fear may be a prelude to tremendous creativity taking place.

Writing my last book, SuperYou - Be The Best You Can Become, I explored the nature of addiction, compulsion, obsession and aversion. I should explain that I am not a therapist with the training to deal with those issues. My view was more concerned with how effectively, or not, we use our time and energy.

I discovered that there seem to be 4 fears that drive us, for the most part unconsciously:

1. Fear of the unknown future

This so much speaks to the difficult times in which we are now living.

2. Fear of being abandoned

Loneliness is a major driver of addiction. I may have more to write about this another time. Twitter offers a certain human contact.

3. Fear of losing control of the events and people around us.

Is anyone else out there a control freak? I raise my hand. I would like to have what I want when I want it, and have those around me conform to my standards. Truth is that life seems to work much better when I leave it alone, and simply accept and cooperate.

4. Fear of getting in touch with our deepest feelings of love.

This one tells me that were I to truly draw upon my deepest resources of love then I am responsible and accountable for my life. There is no shame. I am forgiven. There is no one else I can blame.

The buck stops with me. Exciting, but actually quite scary.

One reader last week commented:

"I've learned so much from my clients as well as myself about befriending the fear in each of us, trying to hear it and understand what it's job is inside our systems. The irony is that usually it's trying to keep us SAFE. Once the "fear" part is heard, and accepted, it can soften and a new path is opened. Fear itself without curiosity and love is crippling."

I am not addicted to Facebook. I do enjoy the simplicity of the 140 character Tweets offered through Twitter. I am learning to monitor the time I spend on it.

As in the poem below, it is always up to me to "walk down another street".

Autobiography in Five Chapters

1. I walk down the street.
There is deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost.... I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault
I get out immediately.

4. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it.

5. I walk down another street.

Portia Nelson

I would love to hear from you, either as a comment here or contact me at Clear Results: ClearResults@mac.com

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