A few months ago, my UK friend Tony Martin (@redfoxcountry on Twitter) had the brilliant idea of starting a “male wish list” on Twitter using the hashtag #malewishlist. I was so inspired by this idea, and this subject, that in addition to posting a number of #malewishlist tweets myself, I also did what I could to bring as many other male voices into the mix as possible.
The results were outstanding. It was great to see so many men sharing their most heartfelt desires in such a free and spontaneous way, and as the list grew, I felt I was beginning to see the formation of a running archive of communiqués from the deepest inner lives of men.
I was hoping the list would be ongoing, but things didn’t work out that way, and before too long the #malewishlist tweets began to subside. I was comforted, however, by the knowledge that the list built in that short time, that little archive of authentic moments in the masculine heart, would remain available for anyone who wanted to see it, any time.
What I didn’t know was that tweets posted with hashtags fall off Twitter’s search radar after ten days. As a result, the list rapidly withered away as the oldest tweets fell outside the scope of Twitter’s ten-day search window. Gradually, relentlessly, the male wish list became, once again, hidden from view and, for all practical purposes, invisible.
This was a great disappointment to me. I tried to retrieve what I could out of the Twitter memory hole, but my efforts came up short and I finally decided, very reluctantly, that it was time to let it go, thinking I’d seen the last of the male wish list.
But I was pleasantly surprised this morning to discover I was wrong about that. Peter de Kock, a friend in the Netherlands and one of the contributors to the list, has managed to compile a large number of the original tweets (some of which I’d never seen myself) and posted them on his blog at:
In addition to my great happiness at seeing this information preserved when I thought it lost, I’m also relieved, surprised, and very touched to be reminded once again that I don’t have to do everything myself. I’m so accustomed to thinking that I have no help with the things that matter most deeply to me and that if I don’t take care of them, no one will. As a matter of fact, one of my original contributions to the male wish list was this:
To know I don’t have to do it all alone.
Thank you, Peter, for showing me that I don’t.
Photo credit: David Jewell. Used by permission.
The The male wish list by Rick Belden, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.