Last year I didn’t like Twitter. I thought it was just the worst of Facebook – a stream of inane status updates, infinite and unrelenting.
How wrong I was.
After tentatively courting Twitter for the last 18 months, I’ve slowly grown to love it. So to make up for misunderstanding one of the best social platforms to ever grace the web, (and because I’m feeling goodwill to all men this December) I want to acknowledge why I love Twitter.
There are already some great blogs telling you the top ten reasons why Twitter is useful and how to get the most out of it. Jeff Bullas has some good articles on using Twitter. I want to give you the top ten of what makes Twitter universally great.
1. The birth of Twitter
Twitter was born while Jack Dorsey and his group were having a brainstorming session in a playground, eating Mexican food. Every great idea needs a good story and anything that promotes the benefits of Mexican food and arsing around on swings as a fully grown adult, is OK by me.
2. The guiding principles of Twitter
‘Simplicity, constraint and craftsmanship.’ These are brilliant principles to apply to anything – especially writing and design. You can see them in action in the way Twitter is designed, the way it works and the way it’s used.
3. There’s no room to waffle
Following on from the principles above, Twitter makes you think about exactly what you want to say, clearly and succinctly. (It’s good practice for writers too.)
4. Instant news and info
This one’s obvious but it’s what we use Twitter for. I’m into quite varied things and with a bit of careful following I can get general news, info from businesses, screenwriting tips and cult film updates – all at once.
5. Breaks down social barriers
On Twitter, everyone is born equal. You can get into an instant conversation with politicians, film directors, journalists, actors and… well, anyone on Twitter. It stops bureaucracy in its tracks.
6. Reclaiming the media
We decide what’s news on Twitter. People have revolutionised the way the media works by ignoring super-injunctions, reporting personal experience and giving the news in real time.
One of my favourite things about Twitter is the positivity it breeds. It’s helpful and genuinely sociable by its very nature.
8. A useful addiction
My Twitter addiction is more productive than doing logic puzzles, playing online games or watching Masterchef: The Professionals. Even as my forefinger refreshes the page, like some demented woodpecker I know I’m engaging with something useful.
Unlike other social networks I’m not constantly encouraged to click on ads and add old school friends. There’s no social faux pas in ‘unfollowing’ people and I choose what I see, what I say and who I say it to – the way social media should be.
10. Good feedback
If people aren’t interested, you’ll know about it because no one will reply, hashtag or retweet. There are lots of clever ways to gain followers and tips on how to engage with them, but really it all boils down to whether you’re saying something interesting. There’s no better way to find out if you’ve got it right.
So these are the reasons why I love Twitter. If you’ve got any to add, or want to tell me why you hate Twitter, post a comment.
I’ll leave you with the words of Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey: ‘One could change the world with one hundred and forty characters.’