Facebook has become as ubiquitous as Wal-Mart and whether you love it or hate, people mostly get it. The value of Twitter, on the other hand, still seems to escape some in my social circle and until fairly recently, me.
Having been on Twitter a couple of years (sounds like an addiction … “I’ve been on pain killers since the potato masher accident”), I’m just now beginning to understand the lure.
On Facebook, I get a good idea of what’s going on in my friends’ lives and how they feel about topics they care about. I know who’s a fan of “Dancing with the Stars,” who’s praying for whom, who is gambling way too much on Facebook games and how their children/vacations/personal businesses are.
On Twitter meanwhile, I can get a good idea of how the public at large feels about topics I care about. (That’s not to say I don’t care about some topics my friends care about but, um, not everything.)
I follow a number of Minnesota Twins tweeters, so I have a good idea of how the Twins are doing during a game or over the course of the season. I follow a bunch of writers and authors, so I get an ongoing feed with inspiration and writing tips. And when I want to check on society’s perspective on something — anything! — I can search Twitter for the latest, unedited, uncensored view.
Burger King’s new bacon sundae? Consensus today is that it’s generally hype, but I found this gem:
Interested in the Jerry Sandusky trial? Lots of news is available (in 140 characters or less) and a whole bunch of X-rated opinions on his guilt, and then there’s this:
Wondering if you should see the movie “Prometheus” or, having seen it, wondering what the heck it means? Twitter’s got answers in spades, like this:
I understand how people can get distracted by the pretty pictures on Pinterest, but as a writer and editor, I appreciate how much can be said with a few words on a little tweet.
If you’re wondering whether Twitter is for you, sign up and start following some folks who tweet about topics that interest you. When you’ve got the hang of things, start tweeting some safe opinions (books, movies, food) and retweeting interesting tweets. Pretty soon you’ll be tweeting all sorts of extreme opinions on politics, religion and sex (OK, maybe you can stop short of that).
And, like all polite intercourse (intercourse meaning “conversation” not “sex”) remember this:
Have a thought about Twitter? Someone I should follow? An extreme opinion? Please comment and tweet!