As addicted to the computer and the Internet as I am, I’m always slow to discover new social-networking sites. I created a MySpace account long after most people had both found and abandoned it. I was even anti-Facebook until last year, and now it’s a huge part of my life. But I was, perhaps, against Twitter most of all.
I only started using Twitter a few months ago. Prior to that, it was, to me, Facebook’s status update without Facebook attached. I honestly believed most people used it to tell you when they were at the grocery store, when they were dusting their entertainment center, or that they were taking a nap.
Ironically, that is what many people do. And now so do I. But it’s so much more than that.
What Twitter is, really, is the very definition of social networking, far more so than Facebook or Myspace ever were. Networking is, at its core, communicating with people you know and then branching out, putting yourself out there. Facebook certainly doesn’t allow this any more. In fact, it yells at you if you add people you don’t “know in real life.” What’s ironic to me is that I have real-life ways of communicating with the people I know in real life, so while I do use Facebook as one primary (almost central) way to keep in touch with real-life friends and family, I also used to use it to reach out to minor acquaintances, friends of friends, and occasionally even total strangers who looked interesting. But now, if your friend requests are ignored too often, Facebook will actually prevent you from adding people or even ultimately suspend your account because you’re “harassing” people, which I find utterly ridiculous, because I’m not sure how simply sending someone a friend request is harassment.
But this isn’t an article about Facebook. That’s more of a love/hate story.
Twitter is a chance to speak to new people, complete strangers, and even celebrities, if you’re lucky enough to get them to notice you. I’m a child in a generation where friendships can, indeed, be virtual, and I’ve made several new friends thanks to Twitter. Which is especially nice because my Twitterfriends share some interests that my real friends don’t, so I get to discuss things like the books I read and movies I like with people who actually care.
I even took part in an Emmys-watching party, something I’d always wanted to do but for which I’d never had any friends to join me. We flooded the Twitterverse that evening with comments on the awards show, who won, who should’ve won, what jokes worked, et cetera.
I was slower to join Twitter than any other networking site, and I even consistently made fun of it in the years prior to joining. But now that I’m part of it, I’m beginning to understand its value. Tweets range from entertaining to informative to just social conversation, and regardless of their nature, I enjoy them.
I recently tweeted my 1,000th tweet, which probably excited me way more than it should have. I check Twitter frequently, either through the site or my Droid. So, join Twitter and follow me. I’m not hard to find. Then branch out and follow your real friends, make some Twitterfriends, and find your favorite celebrities.
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