5 Reasons Why You Should Get Twitter
The student newspaper at my college recently published a very funny and cynical piece on the pointlessness of Twitter as a social network. If that’s not enough, friends are constantly heckling me about it and asking what the point is. While Twitter does highlight some of modern society’s flaws (like the infinite ability we have to be impersonal), it also creates many benefits for its users.
1. Know more, faster. While CNN, BBC, and other news sources can take hours to put together a news story and send it out, the twitter community can find out instantly. Tweets are, by definition, very short. So when those 3 Navy SEALs took as many perfectly placed headshots, I heard it on Twitter first. Who knows how the person I heard from knew, but I found out before it was on CNN’s homepage or anywhere else. Sure, rumors can get started this way too, but it’s good to know what I should be looking for on the “credible” news.
2. Broaden your influence. Sure, you’re not going to find a new best friend on Twitter (unless you both have severe ADD), but what you can do is reach out to people, share your ideas with people who have similar ones, and get a message out there. Need help with that research paper? I bet you’d get results with the tweet, “Anyone know where I can find a credible analysis of the Zapruder film?” Maybe the person who answers doesn’t know you from the kid down the hall, but either way you’ve got yourself a source.
3. The interesting part of the internet, tailored and delivered to your desktop. Before Twitter, you had to scavenge the internet for hours to find a news story worth reading. That story about how AIG’s stock has gone down further than Bush’s ratings did may be interesting to your great uncle in South Dakota, but you want to hear about your stuff. Now it’s easy: jump on twitter and follow people who are into in the same things. Interesting links will pop up all over your feed, and the internet will suddenly become much more worthwhile.
4. It’s low-maintenance! Unlike wall posts or status updates on Facebook, tweets have to be short. You don’t have to decide how many lines of your depressing song quote to put in, because you only have 140 characters. It’s easy to update, and if you decide not to, nobody will wonder why you’re still “on the way to the dining hall” at 1 A.M. because it won’t be up in their feed anymore.
5. Its capabilities are vast and largely unknown (but being discovered rapidly). To answer my friends’ mocking questions, I still don’t know what the point is, but it’s developing fast. Maybe you don’t want one now, but what will you do when your professor uses it in class and you still don’t know how to tweet well (it’s not as simple as texting)? Whether you join it or not, Twitter is not going away any time soon, and it’s only getting bigger. So hop on, follow me, and see what it’s all about.
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