Richard Maun – Why Twitter Works
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Why Twitter Works

16 March 2010

Flikr Creative Commons: credited to ehnmark

One way to be heard...or you could tweet

I was asked this question at a recent workshop and my answer was; it’s a stroke rich environment. Simples.

In Transactional Analysis a ‘stroke’ is defined as a unit of recognition and we all have a need for recognition as an essential human hunger (Berne, 1966). I know the term ‘stroke’ has a medical meaning, but in this context it refers to the act of recognising our self or others. Think of it like stroking a cat; if you move from head to tail you might get a little buzzy purr and a happy kitty. Go from tail to head and you can lose a finger. Cats know all about strokes!

Twitter provides us (I like tweeting) with a chance to be heard and to be acknowledged. We don’t have to be saying anything smart, we can just be present and can have our existence validated.

All of the smiles we get, the banter and the electronic ‘hugs’ are real and genuine strokes. People on Twitter bank them, share them and relive them as their timeline flows and people comment and laugh and cry together.

If you’re sitting at home looking for a job, or in an office on your own, or raising children, or simply wading through the daily treacle¬†of life, you too can have as many healthy strokes as you need.

Twitter is for real people. It works because when you write something you are noticing yourself first and that’s a good source of strokes. It works because you can have company when you’re physically isolated (stroke deprived). It works because people hand out strokes freely and the networks of Tweeters support and encourage each other.

There’s a big bonus too. Increasingly people are using Twitter as a source of business because people buy from people and chatting is a great way to develop relationships. I’m not talking here about the spam from multi-level marketing organisations (mlm) who can make you rich by clicking here!! (If it was that easy would I be writing this and would you be reading it?) What I mean is good old fashioned networking; talking to people, making friends, gaining trust and then doing business.

All these strokes can be great for our health and well-being and for our bank balance too.

And you can have all this for free. Twitter works because real people can really be present and get real, healthy strokes. Find me on Twitter at @RichardMaun and tell me what strokes you need. We can have a Twitter #strokeparty.

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