In the introduction to Collaborative Improv, I note how not all improvisation is funny. Some of the best improv is dramatic. I had to laugh at myself because a few weeks ago I encountered the Twitter version of this: not all tweets are funny.
Transcribing research notes into the computer, I was reminded that my touch-typing skills are makeshift at best. I was reminded this when i felt my pinkie cramping up. So I posted the following tweet:
I was expecting sarcastic responses, as Twitter is often full of. Instead, I got responses including: empathy, listening, and generally being a decent human being. (These tweets are no longer available)
So not all tweets are funny, or snarky. Just as not all improv is funny.
This was a valuable reminder. Not just that my pinkie cramping is minor and solvable compared to the lack of listening across our culture as a whole. But that there can be real, meaningful conversations on Twitter, despite the deluge of crap that so often fills the site.
As we go into life and work with our colleagues, I urge you to leave preconceptions at the door and experience discussions and collaboration with an open mind. If you would like some tools and resources to support this effort, I recommend a copy of Collaborative Improv, available in print and digital editions. And if you do have a copy, please leave a review!