In a recent series on Prakkypedia, guests have shared why they use social media.
One of the questions I’ve posed in that series is: What’s the question you’re asked most about Twitter? I’ve listed those most common questions below, as offered by those guests, and added my own responses. It would be fantastic if you could offer your thoughts in Comments below.
Common questions about Twitter
Isn’t it just for talking about breakfast? People may occasionally use Twitter to talk about their breakfast. Or dinner. Or brunch. Or their favourite restaurant. People don’t behave differently on Twitter. In real life, you expect people to share their everyday experiences with you. Why should Twitter be confined to sharing educational links, newsbreaks and existential musings? We’re real people, no matter where we are, and sometimes it helps make connections and long lasting friendships when we admit that we like Sultana Bran.
But don’t you find it distracting or time-consuming? TV is distracting and time consuming. Children, partners and pets are the same. Hell, I resent the four minutes a day I spend brushing my teeth. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. You get out of it, what you put in. Twitter (which results in so much learning, laughter and support) is a welcome distraction and often well worth your time.
How do you get the time? How much time does it take in your day to manage your Twitter? For me, I consciously make time because it’s part of my professional role. But I also enjoy it on a personal level… and my iPhone is where this makes all the difference. So when I’m waiting for my takeaway latte for example, I’m tweeting from my phone. When I’m at a chilly train station, I’m tweeting. When I need a break at work, I check Twitter via Hootsuite. There’s plenty of time to fit it in. And yes, I still make time to daydream and stare at the sky. I’m not a tweet robot.
Isn’t it just people spouting inanities? What’s your definition of inane? One person’s inane is another person’s profound. And admit it – in the same way that we have a guilty pleasure in the form of a reality TV show, a trashy magazine or a chocolate bar – we need a welcome break on platforms like Twitter. We don’t want to read industry journals all day, so if someone groans that their mother in law is about to visit, or tweets that they’re drinking a simply delicious red wine, these are the tweets that help make the world go round.
Why bother? Do you like talking to people? Do you like friendship? Do you want to know what’s happening in the world? Do you want to ask for advice or support some times? This is why we bother to connect with anyone at all – and Twitter is all about connections. On fire.