I know, it sounds like a bad thing to say but it’s true so I’m not ashamed of exposing my love for this microblogging service, even though I’ve read many negative articles about it.
First of all, I don’t get why someone would hate Twitter. Yes, you only have 140 characters but as silly as it may seem, sharing these extra-tiny thoughts help you improve your writing and editing skills. As the one and only @coppyblogger once said, Twitter makes you a better writer by forcing you to be concise while improving your vocabulary. The cherry on top would be that all this hassle is nothing but fun in my world.
Twitter changed my life the day I decided to open an account with my real name on front. It was a huge step for me, first because I’m from a generation of ICQ/mIRC users who felt more like a nickname than as a person, and second because I’ve been hidden, feeling there’s nothing else I could add to the Internet that wasn’t there already, and audience members have no name. But I knew joining Twitter was step one in my plan of giving social media a try, and I also knew using my name was a must if I was going to use this new tool to build my personal brand.
I remember feeling alone during the first couple of weeks, surrounded by all those social media experts sharing their “10 tips for being amazing in whatever you do” and only replying to users with a large number of followers. The “Social Media World” could be a hostile place… My best shot was to read all of those articles on “how to be awesome on Twitter” and learn about the etiquette, the rules, the engagement, the influence.
Frankly, it was boring, so I just started sharing everything I wanted to share, mentioning every writer I enjoyed reading and every nice person I’ve found within a comments section. Suddenly my followers started to show up, and I realized the reason why I wasn’t alone anymore was that I wasn’t trying to “make Twitter work”, I was just being me. There’s no formula, no 10 tips; there’s just one rule: be yourself. If you don’t care about something, don’t even bother trying to make me care about it.
Nowadays I’m an active member of many social networks and I don’t get tired of sharing/reading/commenting because every online community is different from the others. You wouldn’t imagine how much I’ve learnt while hanging out in Chime.in, or all the great conversations I’ve had on Facebook. And none of that would have been possible if it weren’t for my little “Twitter experiment”. Truth is that throwing myself into the unknown and interacting with others has gotten easier: it’s just a matter of finding those interests you share with each other, and exploding the natural connection.
This is a wonderful time, after all these years online we’re finally connecting to each other. We’re opening up and sharing our fears and ideas with whoever is on the other side. We are together for the first time in a long time. It takes a person to get a person, and Twitter made me realize we’re not lost in translation.