In defense of Twitter

I’ve heard it many times over now.

Twitter is dumb, why would I tell anyone when I’m hungry or if I’m on the way to the bathroom?”

So many times, in fact, that it has gotten wearisome and I feel like Twitter needs to be defended. 

Not everyone has mundane thoughts like you (the collective you) seem to think they do. It’s like they (being wise, old people) say, “only boring people get bored” and only people who aren’t looking for new and innovative ways to better their lives will find Twitter to be boring. Inherently, it’s not boring at all if you find the right people to follow. Twitter is an exchange of communication outside of your little world. You can follow interesting people and businesses that could potentially contribute to your growth and development as a person, if you are open to it.

I get a lot of enjoyment and entertainment out of Twitter because it goes outside my world of Facebook which is just the people I know in person. There’s nothing wrong with Facebook but sometimes the tedium of people telling me that they’re having a great or, worse, a bad day is a little much.

When you follow a Twitter account of a real person who you find to be interesting and have a conversation with them, that’s something that Facebook doesn’t really allow, unless you are mutualy friends of someone and happen to spark up a conversation on a wall or comment thread. Plus, that label of Facebook Stalker isn’t something that many want to be associated with so it’s kind of discouraged to try to meet people on Facebook that way. That’s another topic for another day, though.

A great example of this was when I happened to watch the Oscars the other night and was on Twitter at the same time. It’s like you’re in a crowded room with everyone talking but somehow you still manage to pay attention to your friends. There were so many jokes and questions on Twitter that night about James Franco’s somewhat laid back performance as co-host as well as what movies people thought were going to win. When Oprah came out to present the award for best documentary, I saw more than one tweet about her about to give away an Oscar to everyone in the room. Sadly, it was not true. 

World

Explanation of my awesome, if small, illustration of my point: Facebook has barriers to your world. You only let in people you know because you’re paranoid that everyone is after you. Twitter is more fluid and information (and spambots) filter in and out without any barriers. This ends up making you smarter (imagine that!). I threw in Posterous because I ❤ it and it is a way to autopost things that interest you, blog, and create groups online which is so amazingly helpful when you need to collaborate with team members. Tumblr pushes all information out and it sometimes seems to go in circles. For me, it’s great because it’s considerably image-heavy and I’ve seen a lot of things and learned about the internet world through the Daily What.

For example, if you follow any NPR writer or radio host, you’re bound to get interesting information, points of view and, of course, jokes. Even Glen Weldon of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour agrees.

Jokes

from Glen Weldon of NPR

News is delivered to me the minute that it happens because Twitter never sleeps (unless the Fail Whale is …failing). These days, I don’t watch television. Well, I watch television shows but not on the actual box that takes up space in my room. I get nearly all my news from Twitter and if not from Twitter, I get it from talking to people. I’m more up-to-date than most of my peers on global news and I attribute this to Twitter. When the New York Times, CNN and NPR tell me something on Twitter, I notice. Plus, have you heard about that revolution in Egypt that was made possible by a little website called Twitter? They shut down the internet in Egypt because of it. 

Contests are a major part of why I enjoy Twitter so much. It’s incredibly easy to sign up for contests or find out about them. I won a Peek via Posterous from Peek in my sophomore year of college because I found out about it through Twitter. I also won an iPhone through Posterous and became a College Mobilizer along with some other cool folks. I found out about Coconut Records’ music video contest that I ended up being a winner for as well through Twitter. So, Twitter is awesome. People always say that I “win everything” but I wouldn’t win so much if I didn’t know about the contests and put in a little effort.

Opportunities, like contests, pop up all the time. There are even Twitter accounts dedicated to particular fields which post job listings every day. Articles about what is happening in certain fields are also extremely interesting. I follow Mashable, Ad Age, Huffington Post, NY Times Technology, all sorts of businesses. 

The absolute best thing about Twitter is that people make an attempt to spell things correctly. Granted, it may just be the people I follow but they seem to have really intellectual and witty things to say, and lo and behold – they don’t spell things incorrectly! Or if they do, it’s because they’re trying to be ironic.

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