There’s this Japanese Twitter user, @Yuya__ne__, who follows me on Twitter. I follow him too, and this mutual following has been going on for probably over a year now. At least a year, for sure. Anyway, he’s studying English and I’m studying Japanese, so that’s pretty ace.
We had never spoken before, but today I tweeted the following:
It’s sad that after 1.5 years of Japanese, I still can’t understand @Yuya__ne__’s tweets. I can read lots of them, but understand? Hah.
He responded, expressing surprise that I had already been studying Japanese for a year and a half, and we ended up having a conversation half in English, half in Japanese. It was really cool because I don’t often get to use Japanese outside of class. I know it’s my own fault for not seeking out opportunities and for being afraid to go to the Japanese conversation table the teachers host once every two weeks, but still. Can you blame me? 😛
Twitter is an interesting little space. Bear with me while I get all deep with you for a second here. With such a small character limit, it seems to me we’re forced almost to define ourselves in our efforts to succinctly communicate what we want to say. Even more so through the 160-character Twitter profile than through the 140-character tweets.
The about-me blurb in the sidebar of this website is short, yes, but it has no limitations and it is my choice whether to keep it short and whether to include only some information. On Twitter, however, I have to think, “Okay, how can I communicate what people should know about me? What should I not include? How can I make sure this still has personality instead of just listing things I like?”
To that end, my Twitter profile is always changing. I include what I think are only the absolute most important things about me because I want to attract followers with similar interests. I’m not really one to seek out people to follow, so that’s especially important to me because if someone with a similar interest finds me, I can follow them back and voilà, happier Twitter feed. Over the summer, when I was hardcore into fangirling, this was my profile description:
Lately, I have been absorbing myself into language study. That, or language study has been absorbing me. I think taking two languages has somehow made me work harder at both of them instead of having them take time away from each other. As a result, I’ve been really keen on practicing. After my little half-Japanese conversation earlier, I thought maybe I would update my profile in hopes of stumbling upon further opportunities to practice. It now reads:
(“I study Japanese // I study Italian.”)
The Japanese is in kana (Japanese characters), of course, but I can’t seem to get them to display in this post. I didn’t try very hard, but. 😛
You’ll notice–or perhaps you won’t–I took out the makeup bit. I still love makeup, but I have not worn anything besides lipstick in a few months as I am working on clearing up my skin and also I never have time to put any on anymore! Anyway, my point is my Twitter profile is kind of a snapshot of how I see myself in this moment and what I think are the most important things people should know about me in this moment. I guess it’s less about what I think is important about me and more about what I want people to know based on what kind of people I want to attract. It’s kind of like an outfit that way, like how sometimes the reason I wear band shirts is because I want people to know I’m into a certain kind of music.
That, and it’s kind of an art form. I think my new profile description is pretty ugly-looking… not nearly as clean as my old one. I like clean things, but it’s a compromise. It’s hard to make it look shiny with three different languages included.
I’d better cut this off now as @jeorgina hates these “essay” posts. 😉