In Defense of Twitter

Take it from a converted skeptic. Twitter rocks. I used to think it was the ultimate time-suck: typing status messages into a vortex all day long?! You've GOT to be kidding me. But as a Web 2.0 lover and prided early adopter, I couldn't stand not being part of this seemingly-inane yet rapidly-growing phenomenon. Finally, after hearing speakers at a blogger panel rave about their love for Twitter early last year, I signed up begrudgingly but with a dash of excited curiosity. At first interacting with Twitter was about as exciting as watching paint dry. I started following five people, and had two others following me. I tweeted Facebook-esque status updates and wondered why on earth anyone would care. It definitely felt strange writing messages for two people. This would be so much more fun if I had more friends on here, I thought. If you tweet, they will come?

Little by little, my community started growing. It started with people I knew in real life - coworkers and random friends. Then it expanded to runners (when I was training for the marathon), bloggers, fellow life coaches, famous athletes and people who just make me laugh.

Twitter is not just about what you ate for breakfast this morning or how badly you want to pick your wedgie. People link to interesting articles, post quotes, share random thoughts, ask for advice and create a wonderful sense of far-reaching community. And every unexpected @ reply (someone responding to me), brings a generous smile to my face. I feel seen and heard.

For bloggers, Twitter is a fantastic way to broaden your network, meet new people and share ideas. It's also a way for me to share a little more of my personality and every-day thoughts beyond what I find post-worthy for my blog. For non-bloggers, it's a quick way to consume content and engage in guiltless voyeurism. And in the weird way that only micro-blogging and social media can, Twitter strengthens and adds layers to your real-life connections too.

I still have my fair share of insecurities about Twitter (and blogging, for that matter): Am I interesting? Am I funny? Am I useful? Am I inspirational? Do I actually have anything NEW to say? But then I remember not to take it too seriously, and to forge ahead anyway. I tweet and I blog because it makes me happy. And isn't that all that matters?


What would this post be without a plug to follow me on Twitter?! And for a funny related read, check out David Pogue's "The Twitter Experiment."