Welcome to my new Seven Things to Love series. I’ll take things and list seven things that I love about it. You may interpret this as me not having anything particularly pressing to write about. I don’t know how often I’ll write these, but you can expect at least a few more between now and the end of time.
Seven Things to Love is my attempt at injecting hot, molten positivity into an overly negative world. Negativity is easy and often funny. That’s why there’s so much of it out there.
Twitter is one of those things that people both love and hate. I’m fairly new to Twitter, joining only last year. I can see why people like it, and I can see why people don’t like it. Here are some of the positive things I’ve found about Twitter:
- Twitter is fast. On G+ or Facebook, conversations can last for days. I’ve never had a tweet last for more than a few hours. The way the main stream works, you see everything. If something was posted four hours ago it’s probably so far down your list that you’ll never see it unless you’re procrastinating really, really hard. Yes, viral tweets tend to survive much longer, but those are an entirely different kind of thing.
- Finding interesting people is easy. When I first joined Twitter I found Neil Gaiman and followed a bunch of his followers. Many of them turned out to be interesting people. Many of them tended to like the same books that I like. From them I found my way to Sam Sykes, Robert J. Bennett, and Chuck Wendig. Chuck interacts with piles of authors, so from there I was able to find scads of writers, readers, beer brewers, game players, and lots of plain old random people. Some days I cull from my list, some days I add. Every day Twitter becomes more valuable to me.
- Interact with the quasi-famous. Yes, you can respond to the super-famous authors on Twitter. That’s fine. They may or may not respond back since they’re looking at dozens or hundreds of responses. However, the super-famous authors aren’t always my favorite authors. Sometimes the author who just shattered your brain has only a couple thousand followers. When she tweets she’ll sometimes get no response at all. When you tell her that you love her book she’ll feel good about it. When you reply to her tweets she’ll often reply back. It’s a chance to interact where no chance existed before.
- It’s a rather pleasant shade of blue. There, I said it. Yeah, I know Facebook uses blue, too. That’s an inferior blue. Twitter is easy to look at. Also, birds are cool.
- Twitter saves lives. If someone made an app and said, “Hey, everybody, this is an emergency alert app that you can post to whenever something dangerous is going down and by the way you should always be looking at this app because otherwise you won’t know what’s happening,” nobody would use the app. Boring. Instead, tell them, “Hey, here’s this app where you can totally be a narcissist and post everything about yourself constantly and maybe post if something dangerous happens, but really it’s all about posting your feelings and thoughts, so just use it,” people use that app. They use it and when there’s a public emergency they tweet about it. So, Twitter is there when governments try to squash information and people. Twitter is there when there’s an earthquake or a tornado.
- It’s better than work. Not really. Well. Kinda. When work gets really hard, Twitter calms the brain. It’s like a numbing ice pack for your overworked brain muscle. It’s better than the smoke break of the previous generation. I suppose. Better for your lungs, anyway.
- Your followers get your tweets. You get the tweets of those you follow. This sounds like something absolutely fundamental, but it’s not always the case with social media. Twitter gives you what you ask for, plus ads. It doesn’t skip things or give them in a strange order. It doesn’t guess at what you’ll be most interested in. Sometimes it’s too much. Sometimes Twitter is like sticking your face into the information fire hose. There it is, though. All of it.
Yes, I know that half the world is on Twitter already. I’m late to the game and I don’t know how long it’ll be popular. There are a lot of things to like about Twitter, and the more I get into it the more valuable it is for me.
Not that I wouldn’t ditch it for the next big thing.