Three Ways Twitter Won Me Over

I'm nearly the opposite of an early adopter. If people had care labels (how awesome would that be, by the way?), mine would probably say, "Warning: change-resistant." (Unfortunately, Craig didn't have the luxury of a label. But he figured it out quickly enough.)

I'm nostalgic. I can eat the same thing for breakfast for weeks at a time. When given the option to update a software or website, I nearly always stick with what I know. If forced, I usually just put all my settings as close to the original as possible and move on with my life.

I hardly ever see the need for something new when the old way is working just fine. I'm the embodiment of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." (Except that I can't think of any situation in which I would use the word "ain't" in real life...besides in this mantra.)

So naturally, I fought long and hard against Twitter. Really, I did.

What is the point? I said. How is it any different than just posting statuses on Facebook? I said.

But over the next year or so, slowly but surely, I cracked. I resolved to only get Twitter so that I could follow funny celebrities (something you could not do on Facebook) and not post anything myself. Now look at me. I fought and lost. Big time.

I am here, 3 years and 4,523 tweets later, to eat my words.

Why I Love Twitter:

  1. Connecting with people I admire. This is definitely first and foremost why I love Twitter. After my early-adopter (in the truest sense of the word) husband encouraged me to change my Twitter to public rather than private (BUT WHAT IF A CREEPER SEES MY TWEETS ABOUT POP MUSIC AND HARRY POTTER AND COMES AND GETS ME?! I logically protested.), I finally gave in and tried it out. Not only have I not been gotten by a creeper with a curious knowledge of memory charms and Nikki Minaj, but I have also had the opportunity to have 140-character conversations with writers and artists I admire, simply by trying. I'm amazed at how often people with thousands of followers actually respond to individuals. It's like one big open floor. I also love that it gives artists and writers and pop stars a way to build a community of fans. I, along with every other fan, love getting a glimpse into what it's like to be those people. I think it also levels the playing field in that we're reminded we're all just people--with parents and favorite foods and bad days. We just happen to have different jobs.
  2. Humor. Twitter's character limit, I think, encourages wit. Packing humor into one or two short sentences takes skill, and there are a lot of people out there who do it well. I think it even encourages people to be more humorous than they thought they could be. I love that pictures have become punchlines. And I love the aspect of participatory humor. For example, Dave Barnes (easily one of the greatest examples of using Twitter for humor) recently started the hashtag #foodasfiction (or at least started it on my feed). A ton of people responded to him with their answers (I.e. "A Wok to Remember" and "Crepes of Wrath" ), and he retweeted a lot of great ones. In that sense, it creates this giant inside joke we can all be a part of. I love that. It really is a community.
  3. Shameless self-promotion. Twitter's turnover rate in the feed allows you to promote something you're proud of without annoying your audience. I don't mind if someone tweets the same link three times in one day, because each time I saw it, my feed had already completely reloaded, and it wasn't one right after the other. Unless someone tweets 15 times a day about the same thing, I'm probably not going to be annoyed by them promoting their art. On the flip side (totally shameless, remember?) I love that I can share my blog post to more people without any pressure on them to commit. I just throw it out there, and they can choose to click on it or not. They don't have to hit "subscribe" and read all my posts, and this way maybe someone will read my post that wouldn't have read it otherwise. It's a win-win. Of course, I'd love to have people subscribe to my blog and want to read all my posts, but for this stage in my writing, Twitter is a great way to share my blog posts. (Facebook is great for this, too, except I feel that it doesn't have as high of a turnover rate, so I feel a little more guilty posting the same thing more than once. Can anyone else back me up on this sentiment?)
In a wonderful coincidence, I stumbled upon the perfect blog post by Frank Viola (a much more credible writer than myself) laying out very similar reasons supporting Twitter's greatness. You can check it out here if you're interested.


Do you like Twitter? If so, what do you like about it? If not, why not?

If you'd like, you can follow me on Twitter here. I can't promise I won't mention Justin Bieber.