The Sundry World of Twitter

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What is Twitter actually all about? It seems like this chaotic world of information and you’re expected to contribute – well at least if you intend to gain any followers. But what exactly do you have to say that will be interesting to the rest of the world? At least that’s what I have to keep asking myself.

And yet something finally clicked!

All the wondering and exasperated clicking and I finally came to understand the sundry world of Twitter.

Twitter is a world that you have to be dedicated. It demands that you learn its language and refine your writing capabilities to 140 characters. It is a space where you can follow your interests but you have to be want and need to do it on an obsessive level, or else you just won’t understand it.

headshotAlexis Madrigal at The Atlantic seems to have a more adverse view on the Twitter world. He says:

“Maybe Twitter is made for obsessives, but the content of their obsessions doesn’t matter. Maybe instead of casting itself as a simple, fun, easy tool, Twitter should bow to the pressures of its own tool, and rebrand for the hardcore experience. Here’s the new, more accurate tagline: Twitter: Find Your Obsession.”

At the beginning of my Twitter usage I had no idea how to take in and understand all these constant updates or how to interact with them myself. It wasn’t until I was fully committed to what Twitter wanted out of me that I got what I wanted out of it. Perhaps Madrigal’s words do ring a truth in all dedicated Twitter users.

photo_116-240x300I therefore, fully agree with Kathryn Schulz’s, at New York magazine, “That Goddamned Blue Bird and Me: How Twitter Hijacked My Mind”. Where she had a similar experience, that when she gradually found interesting people to follow that was when she really used Twitter to its full capacity.

Twitter is then the definition of a community with obsessive information consumers. But it does not mean that these obsessions are bad, in any fact, it can make you more knowledgeable on any aspect of the world. I am regularly kept up to date with the doings of the publishing world thanks to Twitter – perhaps when the obsession turns to the ins and outs of dogs is when its been taken too far.

Yet, when it comes to the community in Schulz’s worlds:

“Collectively, the people I follow on Twitter — book nerds, science nerds, journalists, the uncategorizably interesting — come pretty close to my dream community. They also function as by far the best news source I’ve ever used: more panoptic, more in-depth, more likely to teach me something, much more timely, cumulatively more self-correcting and namely, that Twitter’s power is difficult to define because it is so idiosyncratic and personal in nature — but if and when you allow it to do so, it will seize hold of you and make it difficult to let go. And that is definitely valuable.”

So if you want to use Twitter, make sure you check on it at least a couple of times a day otherwise you will forget about it. Don’t be afraid to just say anything; starting with what you are up to is always an encouraging start. The more you follow the more people will hear you, then suddenly people will start following you, but give it time. There is a multitude of information on Twitter and it will take time for people to hear you through the masses.

Finally, the ultimate key to Twitter: do not be afraid to completely immerse yourself in it. You’ll be quite surprised at what you can find, or who will find you.

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