The other day, someone said the fact that I tweet alone worried her. I misunderstood. I thought she meant that I should wait for people to be around before I start tweeting. Weird concept. That actually negates the need for such things like Twitter if you think about it. But no, what she meant was that the fact that I use Twitter is unsettling to her. I suppose to some people, it is unnecessary to update the world on your every thought/action. I thought so, too, before I hopped on the wagon. So did Zach Braff. Now he has 146,000+ followers and almost a thousand tweets (eclipsed by many of his lesser known followers). The point is in this interconnected world, it has become more than just an electronic postcard for the mundane. It is now what we look to for the bite-size pieces of information the make up our internet diet.
So why do I do it? For two reasons:
1. To Entertain
This is the main reason. I have a desire to connect with others and share my perspective of the world. That is why I write , and Twitter is like a notebook I have handy all the time. I can write down my reaction to an issue or my opinion on the last movie I watched or whatever response a certain song elicits when it pops up randomly on my iPod queue. I post the thought, and people share their thoughts. I also like to ask people specific questions and see what their answers are. For example, I asked my friends what question(s) they would ask to tell me apart from the evil robot me. I got some really funny responses. So . . . I guess . . . it’s for my own entertainment, really. I entertain myself. I just like to know that the things I find amusing are for other people, too.
2. To Update
I do this far less often, but it is still a handy tool. I actually have four different twitter accounts. One is me, of course. I used it when my phone was broken. (Hold on, smarty pants. My computer worked just fine.) Also, there is the twitter for my band, One Knight Stands. I use it for promoting gigs and fellow artists. Then there are the twitter accounts for my show. I encourage my viewers to use those accounts to contact me and give me questions to answer.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “Matt, why did you just list the two main reasons why most people use Twitter?” Well, maybe there are some people who don’t use twitter but read my blog. I mean I did try to make those reasons unique to me as a tweeter. There is though a third benefit from Twitter that I have found. You see, since Twitter restricts posts to 140 characters, it has helped me practice efficiency in my writing. The shorter format helps me be more aware of useless information in my posts. If I have exceeded the limit in characters, I examine the post to find unnecessary words or phrases that can be omitted and not obfuscate the meaning. (Speaking of confusing, aren’t the words “obfuscate” and “obfuscatory” just hard to look at? But I digress). In addition to editing the information, I also check longer words and search for shorter synonyms.
So Twitter does have its benefits. I mean, I don’t use it all the time, but I want people to know that it isn’t evil. We still have attention spans (some of us), but the wealth of information that the internet offers is so vast that it is better digested in small pieces. Remember, though, Twitter is not a news site. To be honest, it’s probably worse than Wikipedia as far as the facts are concerned. We should all go deeper than the flotsam. Twitter is just on the surface of a network where we can find the truth if we look hard enough. (Insert inspirational fanfare) America.
p.s. Twitter is open to the public. Anyone can read what you post, so use your head. Don’t say things that can get you fired. That is all.