Alright, I’m jumping on the Twitter train. No, not that train…I’ve been on that one for months. I’m talking about the one defending Twitter to all the naysayers – those who are trying desperately to catch up when the Twitter train has already left the station.
Normally, I wouldn’t even think about writing a blog post like this because 1) it ends up sounding like a rant, 2) it’s already been done, and 3) that’s not the purpose of this blog.
However, an article on MSNBC.com entitled “OMG! Shut up about Twitter already” royally pissed me off. And I really don’t get angry easily.
Maybe it’s the irony in the headline for an article that claims that they, too, “don’t get it…” I really wish the media would take their own advice and stop complaining about those who use and find value in Twitter.
Here’s the thing: I understand that some people just can’t see the appeal of Twitter. And that’s fine. Of course it seems like all you do is talk about yourself: that’s exactly what their tagline proposes. However the “what are you doing” has evolved, and those who embrace Twitter recognize its worth.
A program is only as useful as the effort you put into it. Millions of people have tested Twitter out, experimented, and made it work for them in a variety of creative ways. Some use it for professional (and respectable) career advice; others use it as their primary news source; more, still, enjoy it as a way to keep in touch. Personally, I’ve used Twitter to build a community, connect with warm and intelligent people both locally and globally, and even to give a character a voice.
Twitter doesn’t work for everyone, but the point is to try it, test it, give it more than a day. If you still don’t find value in it, move onto something else that does work for you.
But make sure you’re doing it right in the first place before you completely disregard it.
Twitter is not about numbers. Twitter is not about constant self-congratulation and promotion. Twitter is not about lists or updates.
The real value in Twitter, what millions of people have tapped into, lies in the community.
Twitter is about conversation. Twitter is about connections. Twitter is about relating to each other in even the simplest of ways, helping us realize that we’re all human.
It’s about sharing information and learning. It’s about being honest when expressing your thoughts. It’s about offering insight and welcoming advice.
The beauty of Twitter is the ability to find each other and form relationships with people all over the world, making your little corner of it seem that much smaller.
There’s real value to be found in those 140 characters, if you’re willing to look for it. Just get on board and start talking.