8 Things I Learned From Dionne Warwick’s Twitter Account
Science & Technology

8 Things I Learned From Dionne Warwick’s Twitter Account

We are almost a year into the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, and sometimes it’s hard to find the silver lining on any given day. But along with washing our hands, practicing social distancing, and caring for ourselves, we need to make sure that we’re finding moments of joy where we can. Desperate times call for Dionne Warwick.

For the uninitiated, Warwick, 80, is a singer and songwriter who boasts 56 singles that have hit the Billboard Hot 100 over the course of her career. In short: She’s a musical legend. Recently she joined Twitter and gained an entirely new crop of devotees. 

For many of us, coping involves doom scrolling and other distractions. If you’re one of the people who is spending a little more time on social media than usual, I suggest you introduce Dionne Warwick’s Twitter account into your life. Below, you’ll find eight life lessons I’ve gleaned from Warwick’s Twitter account. I hope you’ll find them useful as I do.

1. Be open to learning.

Warwick, affectionately known as Auntie Dionne on Twitter, regularly reminds followers that she isn’t particularly well-versed in millennial and Gen-Z culture. That said, she doesn’t diminish the things she doesn’t understand. Instead, she asks very direct questions. Whether she’s asking about why artists have chosen their stage names or requesting recommendations on organizations that do impactful work, Warwick provides a model for how we can learn about the world by being well-intentioned and curious.

2. Give credit where credit is due.

Warwick’s good humor is disarming, which is a life lesson in itself. But her quick quips lead some folks to assume she’s not running her account. One of my favorite Warwick lessons is how she’s partly responsible for her own Twitter presence and openly shares that her niece, Brittani Warwick, helps her out. Often, when getting praise, it’s tempting to adopt the role of the lone genius. Watching Warwick give her team credit (especially when they help keep her from doing something unwise) can serve as a reminder to give others credit for their contributions.

3. Be unapologetic about your accomplishments.

This is a delicate balance to strike. While Warwick is honest about what she doesn’t understand, she’s quick to communicate her relevance. Her refusal to write a bio (she’s a literal icon, FWIW) can serve as a reminder for all of us to be unapologetic about our accomplishments.

4. Ask for help when you need it.

As I was scrolling through Warwick’s feed, I noticed that she asked to speak with the head of diversity and inclusion at Twitter. Shortly after, the head of diversity and inclusion at Twitter responded. Warwick has been transparent about her Twitter learning curve and some of the inappropriate things people say to her. Seeing her ask for a Twitter contact was a reminder that we’re allowed to seek support from qualified people. Asking for help, information, and resources can make a world of difference when dealing with a problem.

5. Set hard limits for social media time.

I don’t know if it happens every day, but several times a week Warwick gets tired of Twitter and decides she’s going to log off for the day. She usually writes a short tweet that clearly communicates she’s done with us for the moment. Setting hard limits and verbalizing boundaries can be difficult, especially on social media, where it feels like attention is necessary. I find her Twitter breaks inspirational.

6. Be openly appreciative.

Warwick thanks people for following her, she expresses gratitude when people share useful information, and she openly says what she’d like to see more of on Twitter (hint: positivity). Making gratitude a habit can help us be more resilient, SELF previously reported. You don’t necessarily have to start a gratitude journal (unless you want to)—just remembering to be grateful might give you a momentary reprieve from the daily chaos of life.

7. Change the subject if you need to.

Many celebrities use their platforms for positivity, but in a social media world filled with snark, Warwick seems to find something nice to say when she’s pulled into tense conversations about artists and other random topics. And when people try to take her into more negative territory, she simply changes the conversation.

8. Give yourself permission to set boundaries.

It’s obvious that Warwick has found a way to engage with people positively, but social media is a volatile place, and sometimes things get a little tense. When someone says something that Warwick doesn’t enjoy, she tells them and then stops engaging. But those interactions don’t seem to go on too long—one good one-liner from Warwick often does the trick. Watching Warwick set her boundaries and move on about her day is a reminder that boundaries are personal, and you don’t have to be angry to set them.

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