Sometimes it is helpful to remind yourself why certain pieces of technology are so valuable.
After I wrote what seemed to be an obituary on Twitter, I discovered a leadership podcast featuring Andy Stanley, a well-known pastor.
It made Twitter more enjoyable for me.
John Maxwell, another prominent leader in the space of leadership was also present. They are both gifted communicators, book authors and know exactly what they’re talking about. You can watch the entire conversation on YouTube:
I was struck by a comment made about Twitter.
Andy Stanley has recently written a book about conflict and division. He mentioned that he used Twitter for some of his research. He understands some people don’t like Twitter, but he’s a fan. “I love Twitter, I follow all kinds of people,” he said.
Stanley explained a Twitter comment that he had read and the impact it had on his writing. His tweet had an a nuanceAn articulate expressionHe was impressed by that. “Problems can be solved where there can be a conversation with nuance,” he said a bit later in the episode.
This last comment shocked me. Was he actually referring to Twitter? It’s the Twitter that I loathe. That is my great hope for the platform. This comes as Elon Musk may be buying the platform and as the next political season begins in the coming weeks.
It also reminds me of one of my favorite quotes about social media, from the director and producer J.J. Abrams: “We live in a moment where everything immediately seems to default to outrage,” Abrams told EW.com not long ago. “There’s an M.O. where ‘it’s either exactly as I see it or you’re my enemy’. It’s a crazy thing that there’s such a norm that seems to be devoid of nuance and compassion….we knew every decision we made would please someone and infuriate someone else.”
This summary appeals to me. This means Twitter can choose from two choices.
The first is to have nuanced conversations, in order to give salient information to leadership experts Andy Stanley and authors John Maxwell. Another is not to allow nuance to lead to endless debate and the splitting of hairs about the finer points. AnyAnd EachEvery topic is covered. Actually, nuance can be a good word. Nuance is when there are great expressions or music that have nuance. Nuance is when there are a number of things. Elegance of ExcellenceYou must look carefully for it.
Stanley was referring to one of the many great advantages of Twitter.
The nuance is possible to find. You may be able to uncover amazing truths even with strict character limits. I’ve seen countless pithy statements, short expressions of brilliance, and funny (and nuanced) jokes. It’s hard to confess, but BuzzFeed has a great roundup of some of my favorite Twitter jokes. They’re hilarious.
This is something I wish to hold on to. Another kind of nuance is prone to splitting hairs, and endless unnecessary debate. There is no denying that the sky is blue. Not really. The experience is ruined by minor discrepancies. The answer depends on who’s tweeting, and who is actually reading what they tweet. We can’t split hairs.
For now, both nuances exist. Positive nuances exist, the golden nuggets that allow book authors to convey in a few lines what could change your life. Other nuances, championed primarily by trolls, are also competing for our attention.
Twitter’s survival depends on the nuance that wins.