Over the past six months or so I’ve been ruminating over the reasons why I love Twitter so much. I’ve debunked my own assumptions and synthesized my reasons into a pithy list reproduced below:
Twitter’s learning curve is low. The one page getting started guide is fairly explicit but unnecessary. Twitter is intuitive from signing up for a new account to creating your first tweet.
Conversely, some of the symbols of the Twitter vernacular such as the @ sign may deter newbies, but all-in-all Twitter has a fluid interface and very little guesswork is required to get started.
Astute Twitter users can sometimes get the scoop on breaking news stories before it hits the major media outlets.
For example, someone by the name of @AjaDior tweeted that Whitney Houston died almost 45 minutes before it was picked up by the Associated Press.
Better Customer Service
When my webhost crashed last year, I tweeted @JustHost and received a prompt response. It was immeasurably faster than going through the traditional email and phone channels. In addition, Twitter makes it easy to see querulous customers who tweeted about similar issues so you can band together to fight for your cause.
Concision is contagious
The strictures of the 140 character barrier has the unwitting effect of forcing people to be succinct.
It also makes helps people assimilate voluminous quantities of information really fast because all the data is bite sized.
I like the challenge of cramming my desultory thoughts into tiny, tidy nuggets of wisdom. It’s not only fun but also practical because it fosters lucid thinking and articulation.
Excellent way to network
Bryan Donaldson was a mediocre guy working a mundane job in IT for about two decades before Alex Baze, the head writer and producer of Late Night with Seth Meyers, discovered Donaldson’s funny tweets and flew him to NYC for an interview.
Donaldson ended up landing the job.
Or what about Bilal Jaffery who landed a six-figure job without a resume by tweeting his way to his position as Social Media Director at Extreme Networks?
I think Twitter is becoming a noteworthy gateway to employement.
Incidentally, sustained reflection on why I thought I loved Twitter, revealed the cardinal reason I was so enamored with Twitter (and it had little to do with any of the above points)
My realization hit a crescendo and then I immediately felt abashed.
I love Twitter because I love myself.
There I said it in less than 140 characters: brusque and brief.
I’m going to be completely candid with you guys today – ultimately I keep returning to Twitter because I’m infatuated with myself.
Yes, the simplicity, brevity and networking abilities that Twitter affords are ostensible reasons for using it but that’s not the root issue.
At its nadir, I’m a narcissist.
This is evidenced by the following truths:
- I spend an inordinate amount of time ruminating on how to craft the perfect retweetable tweet because I care too much about what people think.
- I wasted hours one day positioning my camera on a tripod to take the perfect Twitter header photo because I think I’m handsome.
- When someone unfollows me I wonder who that person was and what I did (or didn’t do) that was the catalyst for that action.
The fourth point isn’t a typo… I intentionally left it at “I” to make a point.
Twitter is all about “I”.
- Look at my soaring followed to following ratio.
- Look at how many people favorited my last tweet!
- Look at how smart I am? I tweet abstruse links that I barely understand and that I didn’t even read so that everyone will think I’m intelligent and interesting.
I can’t speak for the world on this but I know these are the things that constantly besiege me. Twitter is the tool is use to clamor for attention.
The Bottom Line
Twitter is the culmination of my egomania.
Do I sound cynical? Probably, but I think I’m simply observing what everyone knows but seldom admits.
My realization doesn’t mean that Twitter ipso facto is bad nor does it suggest that social sites like it are inimical, but it does mean that we need to avow that we often spend more time being interesting rather than being interested.
Amid the clamor of the Facebooks, Vines, and Pinterests in the social media ecosystem sometimes I think we just to need to take a break and consider why we are even using these tools.
I contend that there ought to be a great reversal in our thinking here.
- Instead of trying to get the most likes focus on giving the most value.
- Instead of craving more followers provide life enhancing content that will truly benefit the world.
I’m lobbying that we should strive to be munificent with information, freely disseminating it without regard for what people will think of us.
If you find a gem, give it gratis and forget what the world thinks about you.
If you discover an estimable Youtube video share it without expecting anything in return. And if you have an epiphany like me tweet it out, in full candor, without restriction and with zero expectation of getting anything in return.
I think if we shift our paradigms we’ll not only become a happier community but and better asset to the social universe.
What do you think about the psychology of Twitter and our rationale for using it? Why do you use Twitter?
Please share in the comments, thanks.