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Twitter Community Rescues Parent

Last night, I had a heck of a time getting one of my kids to bed. When I finally did around 10, I headed to my computer to tackle some deadlines. I was feeling upset about the sleep situation, so I asked my Twitter community the following question:

“Okay, who has the magic button for getting toddlers to go to sleep? I need it desperately.

In short order, I had roughly 100 responses (@replies and DM’s – direct messages) – from moms, dads, parenting experts, sleep experts, healers, astrologists and generally caring and humorous people.

Anyone who plugged in and happened to be following me got a pretty big dose of my tweets – because I was madly engaged in this incredible conversation with my tweeps. This community of people that I simultaneously really know and really don’t know at all. Some people dug deep asking me questions for clarification, hence, furthering the conversation and @replies.

During this ‘event’ – one person stopped following me and one made an underhanded comment insinuating that it was too much. Which made me ponder the whole scenario.

My thoughts:

  • If I engaged in conversations – that involved a tremendous amount of tweets in a short time span – like last night on a regular basis, it would be annoying. I would expect people to stop following me. I’d stop following me.
  • I’m bowled over by the love and support that came flowing to me last night. Really, you guys are true gems – so helpful, so on my team. Who knew?
  • This is the purpose of Twitter. It’s not just about business, it’s about relationships and being real people. And, like it or not, in my real life yesterday at 10 pm EST I was on night 575 (give or take a few) with a 3 year old who refuses to sleep without me glued to her little self. I needed a little love from my community. Parenting is hard, if you haven’t heard, and heartily done as a group exercise.
  • When I asked the question, I expected a few ‘oh, that sucks!’ and ‘mine too!’ and ‘give her whiskey’ (all of which I did get, by the way) – but I never imagined that I’d get all that I ended up getting.
  • Seeing that the support and suggestions came flooding in, should I have tweeted, “Shut up, you’re making me look like a Twitter hog!” Never in a million years would I do that or want to do that. Ugh.
  • For people who don’t like it, you can come and go as you please. I do not use Qwitter. I believe in freedom and privacy. Follow your own bliss…and leave me to mine.
  • My bliss last night came in the form of a stellar Twitter community.

Pssst! Due to many resquests, I put some of the best (according to me) suggestions down below in the comments.

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Genesis says:

    Are you planning on sharing the words of wisdom you received? :) I have a 2 year old and a 3 year old as well and could use some advice, too!

    I think Twitter is a great resource for things like this, especially if you don`t have a large circle of real life friends. I live in Guatemala and the cultural differences in raising children are huge, so Twitter and blogging is where most of my fellow parents connect with me and it`s invaluable getting that support from others who have the same childrearing values.

  • Rebecca says:

    What a blessing to have had such a heartwarming experience. Looks like some of your Twitter responses will make the skeleton of a great pitch!

  • I’ve never tried asking a parenting question on Twitter, but now I’m thinking I might. It certainly sounds like at least your followers are more helpful than some of the other online communities I’ve visited. How wonderful!

  • Ron Miller says:

    Awesome post, Julie! You’ve got it exactly right:

    * It’s all about community and sharing and you got your dose last night.

    * If someone’s bugging you for whatever reason, stop following them. No harm,no foul (except they could have ignored for you this moment and still continued to get the wisdom of your other posts).

    You just nailed the power of Twitter in one smooth post.

    by Ron Miller blog

  • Julie Roads says:

    Yep and in parenting chat rooms, it isn’t so immediate – people aren’t just sitting there in the midst of participating and then venue isn’t as easy…

  • Becky Pearce says:

    I think it’s great you got such a good response. I’ve only been on twitter a couple of weeks but have found myself tempted to post personal nuggets/questions a couple of times and have held back. I don’t see anything wrong with it as long as you have other things to contribute as well and anyone who follows you knows you do. I would also love to know what advice you got!

  • Debra Snider says:

    After all the generosity, support and, yes, love that you show to your tweeps on a daily basis, anyone who would unfollow or resent you even a smidge for last night’s tweeting is someone you’re better off without. You are a poster example of “give to give rather than to get,” and you have enough credits in the till for a lot more Twitter-hogging than last night’s mini-hog. (I’m tempted to call it a piglet.)

    I’m sure I’m not alone in being delighted every time I see your avatar in my stream. Keep ’em coming!

  • Julie Roads says:

    Debra – thanks for making my day. I’m going to think of you EVERY time I tweet from now on. (Get ready…)

  • I am loving my tweeps at twitter. I very much agree with your post. BTW, I just followed you :) (discovered you through your post at Chris Brogran :)

  • Oh and I forgot to mention – I absolutely love that post you wrote at Chris’. I left a comment there too :)

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