As you probably know, I'm a fan of Twitter. I've even wondered if I tweet too much (a minimum of 20-30 times a day). But I can't help it. I love this silly little social network, and for good reason.
I've gained real friendships on Twitter, found employment there, gotten a lot of blog traffic from it, and even learned a lot through asking questions. So it surprises me, when people say that Twitter is stupid — especially since it's now been around since 2006.
This little blue bird sometimes gets a bad rap, mostly due to misunderstandings and unfair prejudices. Critics tend to assume the following:
- Twitter is narcissistic. It only panders to people's obsessions with themselves and the desire to be famous.
- Twitter is a waste of time. I've heard people say, “How can you spend hours on that thing?” (And that's a valid critique.)
- Twitter is trivial. I often hear naysayers criticize it for being used to merely talk about what people are eating or when they're going to the bathroom or whatever.
- Twitter is just another social network. Why not just stay on Facebook, where the real action is?
Those people don't get it. They don't understand what Twitter is all about. And I don't blame them; it took me two-and-a-half years to figure out how to use Twitter. Here's why I now love it:
- Twitter is a conversation. I've found real, authentic community on Twitter in ways that I've never before experienced on Facebook.
- Twitter connects you with the world. Some people have been able to use Twitter to build a platform from scratch. Justin Halpern wrote a book and got a TV show from his twitter account. (Warning: his tweets contain some profanity.)
- People are making a difference on Twitter. Just follow @invisiblepeople if you think Twitter is narcissistic or trivial. Some people are using their 140 characters to create real change.
- Twitter is unique. With Twitter, you don't have to be connected with someone mutually in order to follow them (like you do with Facebook's “friend request”). Beyond that, I can't explain it, but Twitter is different. With the hash tags and retweets and constant conversation, there is just something unusual and extraordinary about this medium.
- Twitter is a resource. It's my go-to spot to ask questions, sometimes before Google. You can also use Twitter Search to find short, helpful content. I've heard about others using Twitter as a personal search engine, and I've learned a lot, using it this way.
There's more to Twitter than you may have thought. Discover Twitter today.
How do you use Twitter? Do you think it's stupid? Share in the comments.