In my previous post I mentioned that I unfollowed a number of people due to a particular reason. I was asked by Marcia to elaborate a bit on why I like Twitter so much and I thought that I would do a post on why Twitter is my new BFF (more than Google AND FB nowadays):
I get ALL my news from Twitter. I often know about breaking news before it makes headlines. Just today, I saw a tweet about Elizabeth Taylor’s death. I immediately went onto three news websites (news24.com, iafrica.com and iol.co.za) and lo and behold, that bit of news wasn’t available as yet. I knew about Libya being invaded before it made news headlines, I followed the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt as they were happening and I am also following the protests in Bahrain as they are happening. I am also currently following updates from Japan as they are happening. I LOVE this. For a news junkie and someone who is as instant gratification as I am, this is like being in chocolate heaven or something similar. It is right up my alley.
I am never alone and ALWAYS have company even when I am watching TV or reading a book. I LOVE this. I love that Twitter is essentially an ongoing conversation. I love that the people who I follow are VASTLY different from one another and are teaching me so much about who I am without even realising it. I was watching Oprah the other night – it was the episode about this Mormon guy ( an attractive looking fellow btw…) who has four wives and how things were working out in his family and between his wives. While I was watching this, another woman and I were tweeting one another our comments on the subject. I also had LOADS of fun on Twitter with Z.u.m.a’s speech at the opening of Parliament. It actually wasn’t even necessary to watch it. Nowadays I have so much fun on Twitter while watching cricket. It’s like everyone is a commentator and at the same time it’s like being in the stadium and cheering along. And I LOVED following the birth of #Koos as it felt like I was actually present in the birthing room.
Twitter is my source of information. I learn something new every single day. I follow Nick Dawes (editor of the Mail and Guardian) and earlier today he tweeted this:
Dialogue on trade reform today with SA Institute of Intl Affairs, Busa, British High Commission, UCT, M&G. Enoch Godongwana headlines.
Being the person I am I just HAD to go and Google who E.n.o.c.h G.o.n.d.o.n.g.w.a.n.a was. Have you ever heard of Enoch Gondongwana? I also find that Twitter is much quicker than Google. If I need to know something then I just tweet it and I will have a multitude of answers (depending on who you follow you might even get some website links) in no time without having to Google it myself. I LOVE that I save so much time this way.
I can follow my favourite brands AND get in on all the new developments/promotions before it becomes public knowledge. I love that I can complain about bad service and that it WILL be sorted out. Most big companies (i.e. FNB, Woolworths, Vodacom etc.) now employ people to watch all forms of social media for this purpose.
I love that there is so much control for me. I can follow whoever I want to(unless their profile is private) without needing their permission (like on Facebook) and if someone starts to annoy me then I can just unfollow or block them without feeling bad about it. People follow and unfollow one another all the time on Twitter. It’s OK. Really. I also love that some days I can just observe from the sidelines. Nobody can see (like with FB) if I am online or not.
I have been invited to countless Tweetups though I haven’t gone to a single one as yet because I am a bit shy. However, it is only a matter of time before I go and then my social life (i.e. that thing that has been missing for a while) will totally take off thanks to Twitter.
Words are my favourite thing in the whole wide world. Twitter forces me to be creative with my use of words. I am forced to say everything I need to say (I also need to make sure that the tone comes across as intended) in ONLY 140 characters. I refuse to use text speak or mixit speak and I WON’T abbreviate unless it is really necessary. I love that I am forced to play around with the words to make my point. I think that there is an app that you can use if your tweets are longer than 140 characters and of course I won’t be using THAT app. As far as I’m concerned, if you are constantly having to use more than 140 characters in a tweet then you need a blog.
The outpouring of support from people that I have NEVER met is truly amazing. On Monday I night I tweeted that I would be taking my son for an Audiology and Speech Therapy Assessment yesterday. I got so much encouragement. Same on Tuesday morning. People who I had never met wished me well and relayed some experiences with their own kids. After speaking to my husband late yesterday afternoon I tweeted the results of the assessments. The encouragement and support that I received was phenomenal and I was so grateful. I haven’t blogged about the issue as yet (that’s for tomorrow)but not a single person who knows me IRL wished us well or even sent a text message or bothered to ask me how it all went.
I have to admit that it took me a while to get into twitter and I found it very overwhelming at first. I still have a lot to learn but will share some strategies that work for me. For example:
I follow people whose blogs I read – there is already an online relationship with them.
I follow people who are interested in what I am interested in. For example, I am interested in news and current affairs so I tend to follow certain columnists, editors of online news sites, journalists etc. I follow people who force me to think out of the box sometimes – your thinkers and your maverick types. I also love quotes so I follow people who tweet a lot of quotes. I like to Laugh Out Loud regularly so I follow funny people and comedians. I follow people who are also on a weight loss journey because I need all the inspiration and encouragement that I can get. I follow people who are clever and witty and compassionate. And I will not hesitate to unfollow them if I need to. Three strikes and you are OUT.
I don’t follow celebrities (they are so vain!)and I don’t follow people who are based overseas, mostly due to the time difference. Much as I love Twitter, I also need to sleep and I’m not going to stay up to tweet during the night.
Every two weeks or so I go through my followers list as well as the list of people who I am following and I do a clean up or some maintenance. Almost like cleaning out your inbox. There are usually a few s.p.a.m.m.e.r.s which I remove and occasionally there are people who need to be unfollowed for whatever reason.
So. In a nutshell. I love Twitter. I cannot believe that I took so long to get onto the bandwagon. I suggest that you just try it. BUT. Don’t give up too quickly because you will eventually get it. My twitter handle is @julia_za. You are welcome to follow me. I’ll follow back.