I’m often a latecomer. I took my junior year abroad during senior year. I backpacked in Europe a few weeks after my 31st birthday, and I just signed up for Twitter last month. After launching in 2006 and a celebrating a successful IPO in 2013, Twitter has reportedly reached its peak and is now on the kind of slide that in Chutes and Ladders means better luck next time. Gee, my timing is off, but I’m onboard now and enjoying the benefits.
In the early years, many people attempted to explain Twitter to me, but it just sounded unnecessary. Facebook already stole my heart with daily updates on family and friends. What could Twitter do for me? I understood the benefit for a business promoting itself, but for the over 40 crowd being pulled in multiple directions (demanding kids, aging parents, stressful job), it was just another time suck.
I see now that my attitude reflected the “I’ve never tried it, but I know I won’t like it” paradox often applied to vegetables.
How I Use Twitter
Most people have multiple email addresses, right? Because at some point you figured out that you wanted a private email account to send and receive messages among friends/family, and a separate email to receive order confirmations, bank statements, sign up for promotions, and receive renewal notices. Well, think of Facebook and Twitter like your two email accounts. Facebook handles all the personal traffic, and Twitter handles the commercial payload. Having both social media accounts makes each one work better. Twitter allows you to remove from your Facebook newsfeed all those pages you liked, and things you “follow” that cause you to miss the photos of your nephew’s 5th birthday party. Move it all over to your new account on Twitter, and stay on top of pop culture when the mood strikes you. From your favorite Hollywood stars, musicians, senators, foods, lifestyle guru, sports teams and athletes, to news media, Twitter provides more up to date and diverse information than any other single source.
So, if you have a Twitter account and don’t use it, or like me, you never gave it a shot, try reframing your perspective. Think about the fact that Twitter doesn’t have to be about what you give. It can be all about what you get back.