Wednesday, September 14, 2011

From Twit to Tweeter

My first impression of Twitter was not good, and I blame it all on Facebook.

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Actually, that’s not true. It’s more of a dislike/hate relationship.

Facebook can be too much like a virtual high school for my taste. At times it feels so incredibly phony and pretentious that I can’t even stand to log in.

It’s amazing the number of people I’ve talked to who feel downright depressed after scrolling through their friends’ profiles because so-and-so has such a perfect life, marriage, job, house, etc.

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It’s easy to forget that people’s lives on Facebook are airbrushed, nipped and tucked. Understandably, people only show you what they want you to see rather than the dysfunctional, loose and wobbly bits.

The result? Facebook voyeurs feel like crap about their own lives.

I’ve never felt completely comfortable with posting a status on Facebook because do people really need/want to know that I’m eating a sandwich or have an itchy foot? (*hint* No, no they don’t.)

So when it came to Twitter, let’s just say I wasn’t overly thrilled with the idea of joining a social networking site that was exclusively devoted to status updates. Yech. I feel awkward enough in real life and don’t need the added pressure of coming up with something clever and funny every three seconds.

But today I learned that there’s no reason to twinge, as tweets need not be twaddle. Twas but I who needed to twiddle on Twitter to tweak the twang and make it twinkle. ‘Twill work out ‘twixt Twitter and Alana, me thinks.

(My thanks to The Concise Oxford Dictionary for making those last few lines possible).

Yes, today I learned that Twitter is not an endless stream of uselessness. Far from it. It’s actually a very valuable tool, both professionally and personally.

One of the only things that made going on Facebook bearable was when I came across a link to a really fascinating website or video that someone had posted, such as DocumentaryHeaven.

Turns out Twitter’s just like that… but on steroids.

I am genuinely excited to become a regular tweeter. It’s a great way to network with people who *gasp* actually interest you in one way or another (none of this ‘friend’ business). It's also so gosh darn informative.
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I’m mostly following media outlets on Twitter right now (which keeps me up-to-date with the news) but I’ll slowly branch out to include more people and organizations that I'm interested in and that I can learn something from.

In terms of Twitter’s usefulness for communicators… it’s nothing short of game changing (or rather it was already a game changer-- I realize I’m a little late getting aboard the tweet train).

Twitter opens up communication, creates communities and spreads messages and ideas to all (who have Twitter accounts). I know the more I use it, the more I’ll discover just how useful Twitter is for communicators.

So, in keeping with the theme of my blog, my extra four hours today would be spent tweeting because now that I’ve started, I don’t think I can stop.

Follow me! @amodegard


  1. Thanks for sharing, Alana! Interesting that you had a bad impression of Twitter. I did too before I tried it, and now I'm just super excited about the possibilities open to me!
    It seems that my only difficulty will be finding time to properly use all these tools available to me!!

  2. What I hate about Twitter is seeing tweets about someone eating a sandwich. Seriously! Who cares.

  3. In both platforms, it's all in who you follow. On Facebook, you just have to silently block people from your newsfeed to "edit" whose posts you see. That's one reason I use FB more than other social media--I've had years to perfect my "friends" to where I really enjoy reading the stream. It probably helps that most of them are writers, who took to social media early and rabidly, 'cause they prefer to write their social interactions!

  4. Twitter and Facebook are both insanely useful - the sandwich complaint is actually the follower's fault, not the tweeter's.

  5. One of the main benefits I find is of gauging a response to news programmes. esp. political programmes - it's a great way to take the temperature of viewers and see what public reaction is...