I heart Twitter… Since joining the Twitter world over a year ago, I’ve actually met a number people in person whom I wouldn’t have met otherwise. One of those people asked me just this week why I Twitter. I’ve read others’ posts about why they Twitter, and it’s quite an individual thing. I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit and for me, it’s not about building a giant following but about being myself.
So I heart Twitter because:
1. Twitter is helping me find my own voice.
For well over a decade, the anonymity that comes with ghostwriting, copywriting and creating web content has allowed me to do what I do best…. without being known. Writing voice-overs and documentary-style scripting has been another way I can enjoy the satisfaction of writing words that reach a lot of ears but are delivered, in one way or another, by other voices. This, I love. But over time my own voice has begun to emerge. Whether anyone wants to hear it or not isn’t the important thing… it is that I’m learning to differentiate my voice from my work. So I Twitter. It’s like therapy, really.
2. Twitter is helping me find my friends.
Some of the people who follow me just know my name because I work for – or with – someone more prominent they admired. If they stick around after getting to know me, then great! But if not, I’m okay with it. Because I Twitter as myself, and no one else. In the process, I’ve gained some really cool friends and deepened my existing friendships (because I’m truly terrible at keeping in touch with all the people I enjoy).
3. Twitter is helping me stay focused (ironically).
Some call Twitter a time-waster. And it most certainly could be. But it can also help you decide what your message is and keep you focused on communicating what’s important to you. Because of my wide ranges of interests I’ve had to work on this one. But Twitter is now making me decide what my message is going to be. Except, of course, during music award shows and American Idol.
4. Twitter makes me smile every day… and LAUGH my head off during Twitter parties.
I’ve laughed out loud more often during the past year than perhaps several previous years combined. PART of the credit for my more joyful year goes to the irresistible exchange of thoughts during award shows, American Idol, webcasts, etc. shared among whomever is also watching and commenting. Watching shows while a running dialogue of (often hilarious) comments scrolls by is just fun. It’s like having big viewing parties at the house, only I don’t have to clean the house or get dressed for company! That’s not the only reason to Twitter, but it is pretty great!
5. With Twitter, I can learn from and enjoy some incredible people who may or may not like each other.
It’s is like having an on-going party, and brainstorming session, and support group, and seminar… all with my own personalized filter. For example, I follow ‘Little Debbie’ because I grew up on her cookies and love them, while I also follow advocates of healthy gluten-free and sugar-free foods my son can eat (and who would be appalled by my “Little Debbie ways”). I follow edgy, controversial people and conservative people… authors, agents and publishers to see what that whole world is like… pastors, speakers and spiritual leaders… people with Asperger’s Syndrome and other moms whose kids have autism spectrum disorders… and people who just seem like neat people. I love following people who make me laugh out loud, and I’m equally partial to people who think I’m pretty funny. I follow people with whom I sing at church and people I will never, ever get to sing with but whom I admire greatly. All of the people I follow enhance my life somehow. And sometimes I get to follow groups of friends who encourage each other, and that’s nice to witness, too.
6. Twitter keeps expanding my horizons.
I could very easily get complacent and let the solitude that comes with writing keep me too self-contained. Though I have an introverted streak, I really love people. So somehow Twitter keeps me growing, meeting new people with perspectives I need to hear – without me having to travel or neglect my spiritual growth, family, work or much-needed self-care.
7. What I gain compared with what I give is an incredible value.
Twittering several times each day doesn’t take much time compared to the 40 years I’ve taken me to find my voice and express what I, alone, think and feel. And when I share what I’m learning or what is happening in my world, I receive in return so much interesting knowledge and inspiration from many others I want to learn from!
I could go on, but you get the idea. So what about you?? If you Twitter, why do you do it and what are you learning?