On June 10, 2011, @twowisegals arrived. Bearing a soft resemblance to a gangster girl, she weighed in at eleven letters, with a vague profile, and 140-character cry. Neither of us gave her much thought because, after all, she was simply a figment of our imaginations, conceived in the heat of a summer Starbucks morning. Our intent was to set our avatar loose upon Twitterland where she would wreak havoc for a couple of months…close up shop…and move on. Besides…who was going to take a perky pastel cartoon seriously?
Throughout the following months our little animation held onto her fedora as we tossed her into the Twitter frenzy we dubbed the Rabbit Hole to make nice with the other anthropomorphic creatures scurrying about down there…following some of them…being followed by others…fun and games…nothing heavy. Somewhere in the midst of sending and receiving thousands of truncated messages Two Wise Gals morphed into @twowisegals. Both alphas, we run in the same social pack…politically one of us leans left, the other right…one bohemian…the other establishment. In spite of these differences we merged, each of us mindfully navigating our way through this conjoined identity…careful to give the other’s strong personality the room it needs…our two voices sometimes agreeing…sometimes conflicting.
Enter the game changers…to our surprise some of those tiny, fast-moving avatars racing down our Timeline began to stop us in our tracks with engaging personalities and thought provoking comments. They became our regulars…we became theirs. The first to catch our attention was @iain2008, Twitter’s social justice crusader, who captured our hearts with his intensity and bombarded our minds with issues that forced us to change direction and question our own “hey, girls just wanna’ have fun” attitude. Shortly thereafter @jetts31 grabbed us with his Speedo and Wife Beater T image as well as unwavering love for his wife and children and tolerance for his pets (Get the damn hamster already!) and mortgage… who couldn’t love a guy like this? Next @247Sean fell into our world wearing a big heart on his sleeve and enticing us with quick wit, edgy humor, and ancestral lilt…wise and eloquent beyond his years. Then came @fateddiva who gave us one of our favorite Twitter days when she ganged up with us to call out @247Sean as a pretend player. @ThisDaddys_Blog was the first to call us @twowiseasses…it took a smart-mouthed, southern “gentleman” (Trust, we use this term lightly!) to quickly peg us for precisely what we are and what colleagues have called us for years. Recently @colonialdude started to enrich us with his political sarcasm and endless indulgences for our late night antics. Now our days begin with with warm greetings from @tay_malik and morning toasts from @SpitToonsSaloon (when he’s not vacationing in Provence). Throughout the day @Sparkle_Chi graces us with her elegant #sixwords wisdom…she “gets” us…senses the nuances of our words and moods…if she lived in Chicago, I’m sure she’d be the Third Wise Gal.
As we continue to analyze this Twitter phenomenon, we are trying to figure out its draw and our attraction to it. Friends who know us well shake their heads and question why we would rather tweet than join them for regular outings. To answer them, and ourselves, we’ve had to examine some intense questions. How is it possible for us to have meaningful relationships with others we don’t know and will most likely never meet? How can friendships be crafted between people when there are 140-character limitations, no spoken conversations, no body language, and often no names or faces? Logic tells us it’s unlikely…any of these connections is probably a projection of our own self onto the other…the other is more likely a reflection of our personality than of itself. Are these avatar friends fulfilling our own deepest yearnings…a virtual relationship, unhealthy, at best?
Viscerally we can’t agree because in many ways we feel we have made genuine connections. Why and how has this happened? Could it be the result of Twitter having unintentionally leveled the playing field with avatars and character limitations? And…in being leveled does its rules strip down communication to the bare essence of the message, and more importantly of the messenger? We feel we make meaningful connections with what we read on Twitter because we “hear” the other’s mind, “feel” the other’s heart, and are not distracted by his or her physicality. Is it possible that Twitter’s success stems from its limitations?
Recently we gave each other a “Moonstruck” slap and entertained our suspicions of being Twitterholics. There are happenings that confirm these suspicions…all of which are too revealing to post…we will take them to our graves…no loyalty is more beautiful than that of two women who are keepers of each other’s deepest, darkest secrets…it’s the tie that binds…and explains why many have such close friendships and never break up with each other… after all, it’s lethal to have a best friend become an enemy, especially when she has Italian blood running through her veins.
So…@twowisegals conclude that we plan on staying down here in the Rabbit Hole with you other creatures who affirm, challenge, stretch, and enrich our daily lives…often in ways we’ve never imagined. Isn’t that what a fulfilling friendship…virtual or otherwise…is all about?