I will always be grateful for my friend Phillybits for urging me to join Twitter. The response from my non-Twitter friends has been interesting, however. For the most part, they hate the idea of Twitter. They envision it as a humdrum version of Facebook where everyone elaborates on their breakfast/boring lives/etc. Well, it can be that too, but it can also be a fantastic conversation between fascinating people you would have never met in real life.
Here are five things you should know about Twitter:
- Don’t judge it until you’ve used it. Don’t tell me Twitter is stupid. Unless you’re on Twitter and have used it consistently for a month. And by consistently I mean updated/followed people/been followed. Because to be honest, I hated Twitter for the first few weeks I was on it. I didn’t get it. Then I got it. And now I’m an addict. And I try to get others to be addicts. So try it. Then tell me I’m stupid.
- Don’t post every thought that crosses your mind. Unless you deliberately decide to use Twitter as a narcissistic tool that tells the word about things only a mother would care about (and she doesn’t really, trust me), don’t post the first thing that comes to mind. The most interesting folks on Twitter I know write down witty thoughts that come to them (and it isn’t me, I swear) and save them for later. But I confess to straying into the realm of the boring Tweets every now and then. But remember, Twitter is all about sharing information. So share important, interesting information with people and it’ll come back to you ten-fold.
- Don’t follow everyone who follows you. This isn’t Facebook. You have the choice to follow your followers. Take your time with this. I made the rookie mistake of thinking I should be polite and tried to follow 500+ folks all at once. But that make me miss the Tweets from the people I really wanted to follow. So follow wisely.
- Don’t market on Twitter. If you’re a spammer trying to Tweet….well…here’s me slamming the phone on you. *Slam. If you have a cause, that’s great. Selling your stuff? Fine. But don’t be obnoxious. You can sell your brand without over-tweeting about your product.
- People make real friends on Twitter. Twitter is the equivalent to Internet dating. Only you’re making friends, not blind dates. I’m not ashamed to say that half of the people I see socially nowadays I met on Twitter. And they’re awesome. You know why? Because they share the same interests as I do. I wouldn’t have found them without Twitter.
In conclusion, being on Twitter is like having a roadmap for every sample sale in NYC. You knows news before it becomes news. You find out about the coolest events in your city. You get into awesome discussions with random, intriguing people from all over the world. You learn how you think. You learn about other people think. And you laugh. A lot. Which is always a good thing.