EDITOR’S NOTE: This was written after live-tweeting the 2016 Grammy’s
‘Til death do us part, I will go down swinging with Twitter.
I more or less tolerate Facebook; I strongly like Instagram; and I’ve been following Snapchat since its inception and think it’s innovation is highly impressive.
But at the end of the day? It all comes back to Twitter for me.
If you ask most of my friends, they can tell you that I’ve been live-tweeting events for years, even when it annoyed people and I didn’t know live-tweeting was a thing. I have woven my commentary into everything from the Grammy’s to conferences to live performances to anything in-between.
So despite people fearing that it’s on the out, I think The Guardian is right that Twitter has a chance to get enough people to understand it’s value. The platform is not on the out. There are too many people like me out there fighting to keep it alive and breathing.
Here are my reasons why I will go out in a blaze of glory for Twitter:
Current Events Made Interactive
And I don’t just mean the light and fluffy stuff (award shows, concerts, etc.). This also includes political debates, controversial social issues and other hard-hitting news. Twitter creates a platform that welcomes all types of differing opinions.
I follow people across all spectrums—from liberals to conservatives, from comedians to poets, from brands to individuals, from feminists to activists, from people I know to people I dream of meeting (Lady Gaga, I’ll meet you one day).
Twitter allows me to curate a wide array of opinions weighing in on various events in real-time I can digest to form my own informed viewpoints.
There is no backward, only forward
With Facebook, the algorithm risks anything from your past popping up again to haunt you (does anyone else feel dread when the “You have memories on Facebook…” notification appears?). With Twitter, the risk is still there but on a much smaller scale. I love the fact that Twitter is short and in-the-moment. Anything more than a few hours is pretty much lost in the sea of hashtags and emojis.
It sounds philosophical, and it is in a way. I very much appreciate that it’s always new information that you’re seeing and reacting to. It’s always moving forward. It’s here. It’s now. And it’s glorious.
Twitter Is Intimate
Sure, are brand tweets [often] carefully thought out and published in a strategic fashion? Yes.
For the most part, however, there is a sense of visceral reaction that makes the platform so alluring. It’s about relevancy, so you can’t spend more than a few seconds to craft your 140-character message to push out into the Twitterverse before it’s either engulfed by the vortex of irrelevance, forever to be forgotten.
With these quick responses, you leave yourself vulnerable to be judged by the rest of the tweeting world. What this provides is a network of people you can connect with, react to, be inspired from and have these favors returned. I’ve met so many people through Twitter, many evolving into real relationships both on- and offline. These same interactions would have never happened through other social media networks based on the same amount of honesty.
Which leads me to my next point…
Twitter Chats, FTW
What is a Twitter chat, you say? Brush up here. Back and educated? Great!
While the intimacy point might have seemed a little too touchy feely for you, Twitter chats make the practical argument.
While many Twitter chats exist focused around marketing, communications, etc. there are also chats focused on health care, technology, agriculture, politics, social issues and a plethora of other niche topics.
These all are hosted regularly and bring together a like-minded audience with a wide array of ideas, opinions and thoughts to innovate, collaborate and debate. Through the people I have met on Twitter, a large portion of them have come as a result of Twitter chats. From there we follow each other, opening us up to all of our other thoughts and topics to which we can share and interact. Relationships form, growing not only our networks but also our minds.
It Connects Us On A Global Scale
Because of the real-time nature, it’s a huge conduit for breaking events around the world that I can connect with through my phone. You experience events from the people on the ground, rather than from behind the traditional lens of a news anchor.
Twitter allows me to edit and curate my own personalized newspaper, but instead of relying only on large news outlets you can add the voices of individuals. I can find scholars, artists, experts and more and tap into their brilliance to reach outside my like-minded community, that provide insight on current events happening around the world.
Do you have to be careful of limiting yourself to a small purview of perspective? Always.
But most days I can look at my Twitter feed, an unrelenting river of news, and try to comprehend what is happening around the world rather than living within the confines of a set geographic boundary.
There you have it.
In conclusion, is there always that possibility that Twitter’s harbinger of death could always be looming around the corner? Sure.
But am I going to stop seeing the value in the social media platform before that happens? Don’t hold your breath.
Are you a Twitter evangelist? Share your thoughts in the comments below.