The argument for twitter

Okay, I mentioned a while ago that I was formulating a response to anyone who said twitter was stupid, and my friend Bethany decided she had to hear it.

First, I fear I may have given the wrong impression when I made my initial remarks, because this isn’t going to be a “You’re Stupid Because You Disagree With Me” rant, more  a “Why Don’t We All Open Our Minds And We Can Enjoy The World Together” polite request. At least that’s my intention going into this. We’ll see where it actually ends up.

Here’s the thing about twitter. It’s just like any other bit of technology. It’s a tool. In and of itself, it’s not evil or good, stupid or noble. It’s up to the users to determine its disposition. And just like how some people use Facebook to play Farmville and some people use it to start a revolution, twitter is used to all ends.

To be honest, I don’t know how anyone can argue that twitter is just for people who want to tell everyone what they had for lunch anymore. After the Iran Twitter Revolution, I think it’s pretty clear that it’s a valuable tool. But even in everyday, slightly mundane use, twitter is not just for people with no friends in real life. Marketing professionals use it to get word out about their products and services. You can use it to actually talk to your favorite celebrities, instead of just pining. Some people (me) use it to stay in touch with friends that they (I) wouldn’t otherwise get to talk to for weeks at a time.

And here’s the other thing about twitter. You don’t have to have any part of it. It’s optional. You don’t want to hear about what somebody had for lunch? Don’t follow people who tell you what they had for lunch. This is the major thing that I don’t understand about people who are morally opposed to twitter. Twitter is like sending a mass text, except you’re only sending it to people who already said they want to get texts from you. It’s people talking to people who want to be talked to. It’s not just a bunch of people yelling into a void. It’s a conversation.

And yeah, sometimes it’s a conversation about what someone had for lunch. Is that really so bad?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The argument for twitter

  1. Cathy

    Absolutely agree with all that. (being a marketer I sort of have to …)

    The thing that bothers me about Twitter applies to most social media … I know people who never look up from the screen nearest to them. No matter where – in the car, at work, watching tv … constantly texting, tweeting, surfing … it feeds disengagement, we’re breeding people who relate only through technology. I find that very annoying and anti-social. I mostly can’t be bothered to tweet, so I choose not to (although I should be doing it for work – maybe it’s more a “I don’t want to work” thing … hmm.)

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