Recently, I downloaded my Twitter archive and have been going through twelve years’ worth of every tweet I have posted, drawing inspiration from the thoughts, ideas, experiences, etc expressed for my upcoming book, to be published in 2021 by Pan Macmillan South Africa.
“Study the past if you would define the future.”Confucius
It has been a fascinating trip down memory lane. The things that I considered ‘tweet-worthy’, the ideas that I have had, the moments I have lived through. It occurred to me that, in being active on social media, we are essentially documenting our lives. This can be positive or negative, depending on what we put out regularly. And it is damn near impossible to take it back, which is evident in how, for example, people’s tweets can come back and properly bite them in the ass. The epitome of this is Donald Trump. For everything he says and does, or doesn’t do, there is a tweet of him accusing Barack Obama of that very thing.
“Those unable to catalog the past are doomed to repeat it.”Lemony Snicket, The End
Therein lies the opportunity. We are cataloguing our individual past daily through our tweets, our Facebook statuses, our LinkedIn posts, our Instagram images and captions, our Tik Tok videos, etc. How we will be remembered will no longer be through just our actions when we were alive. It will be through the words we put out into the world.
Words have power. Our words not only reveal what we think but who we are. The question to ask oneself is are you comfortable with the person that your tweets say you are. If someone were to scroll through your timeline, beyond the last couple of days, would the person they find be the person you feel you are? If your children or loved ones were to go over that timeline, what would they feel?
It isn’t too late to be a bit more deliberate with our words. Or is it?