Friday, December 17, 2010
Why I Like Twitter
I got on Twitter with hesitation. I admit it took me quite awhile to get used to Twitter and to figure out how it works. I think I'm getting the hang of it. In fact, now I really like it.
It's a level playing field
Twitter, on the other hand, is a level playing field. We're all acquaintances regardless of actual (or lack there of) real relationships. The main reason for this is that Twitter is completely open to the whole internet (unless you've locked it down, but that's no fun). Anybody can "follow" you or check in to see what you are "tweeting." Facebook is in a constant state of restriction - who shall I be friends with and how much should I let them see.
Freedom to interact
Twitter has a sense of Freedom of Speech. You can choose not to say anything to anyone you follow and that's ok. You can also reply to people you don't know at all and who don't know you. In fact, you can "meet" some really interesting people this way. There's no pressure either way. At least I don't feel any.
Less is More
On Twitter you only have 140 characters to speak your mind. It makes you get to the point really quickly. If I want to be wordy I'll switch over to my blog. I like the quick pace of Twitter.
An International Bunch
Twitter has a way of being very international because of mutual interests. That broadens my horizons. For some reason a number of people in the UK and Australia started following me. Not sure what I have to offer them but I started following many of them in return. Seeing their tweets on a daily basis gives me a greater sense of the world. I know that Scotland and England have been getting hammered with snow this year because of their tweets. Do I need to know it's snowing in England? No. But I like to know it. I like to have a better and more intimate sense of what is going on in the world. And it's fun too.
I really began to enjoy the power of Twitter when I embraced my many passions rather than trying to brand myself just in the world of genealogy. I tweet mostly about genealogy, history and historic houses but I am interested in many more things. I like lots of things in life and I can follow people who tweet on those topics. Instead of narrowing my branding, I'm broadening my connection with the world. That's cool. I can follow anyone just because their topics interest me.
Genealogy and History
Many genealogists talk about how to engage historians in dialogue. Well, you're missing the boat if you keep talking about it amongst genealogists. Genealogists and historians get along great on Twitter and have many interactions. I have been so enriched by discovering historians on Twitter. Yes, we approach the world slightly differently but on Twitter we interact and share.
Where I stand
Mind you I still love Facebook. It's a special more secure place where I can interact with my community. I just wanted to stand up on my box and say, "I get Twitter now. I love it. I'm embracing it and I thought I'd let you know why."
The Dark Side of Twitter
There is of course a dark side to Twitter. It's public. Completely public. Sometimes people get lulled into a false sense of security. Don't. Before every tweet you should ask yourself these questions:
1) Am I revealing too much information about myself?
2) Am I happy with everyone in the world (include my Granny) seeing this tweet?
3) Should I really say this or is it better left unsaid?
If you can remember to stay safe of Twitter, the world is your oyster. I know it's mine.
Thanks for reading but I've got to get back to my Tweeps now....... :)