Many of you out there have a particular favorite website that you just have to visit everyday. For many people, Facebook is at the top of the list. Or maybe, you have a blog that you like to follow like Mark’s Views, okay well maybe not!! There are literally thousands of great sites to visit for any internet junkie, however, the best one in my opinion is Twitter. No offense to other sites, but I find myself visiting Twitter before any other site. I have a nice convenient app on my smart phone to access Twitter, and with a simple touch, I can get all the latest breaking news, sports and information that I need. I could be out in some remote location on an island and still keep in touch with what is going on in the world.
Besides getting breaking information, it is always interesting to see what people are saying about a particular subject or event. Some of the tweets that people send out are totally amusing and creative. Everyone has an opinion and Twitter is a great way to express yourself in only 140 characters or less. I love to read other people’s tweets although I could care less if some celebrity tweets that they are going grocery shopping. Like I really need to know that!! I am more interested in people’s short opinions about some event. For a sports fan, Twitter is excellent for letting you vent after the big game. Does the coach need to be fired or this player need to be traded? Expressing your political thoughts is another great way to use Twitter. I have gotten into a few Twitter battles with people over various political topics. I certainly respect other people’s opinions, but I am not afraid to voice my opinion about certain policies. I think Twitter has really changed the landscape for politics. Any politician would be wise to incorporate Twitter in their campaigns. The holds true for companies who want to reach out to potential customers. I have some companies who started following me after I joined Twitter. I never heard of them prior to joining Twitter, but they certainly have made themselves know to me and other people through their tweets.
For all that is good with Twitter, there are certainly some negative things that Twitter can bring. As you might have guessed, giving people a public forum to express their views and opinions can get certain individuals in trouble. Is it just me or does Twitter really bring out the true idiots in this world? A few weeks ago, a local young person got arrested for tweeting that he was going to kill some cops. He was upset with a speeding ticket and decided to use social media to vent his frustrations. Not exactly the smartest thing in the world to do especially when you direct your tweet at the police department. I have heard about certain students getting suspended from school over tweets. Do these people realize that their little tirades can be viewed by everyone in the world? It is very unfortunate that some people use Twitter and other social media sites to tear down others and bully. It is one thing to criticize someone but when you purposely try to damage their reputation, that is really crossing the line. Unfortunately, Twitter is being used more and more as a way to damage and hurt people and that is just not right.
I have some own personal rules for using Twitter. There are certainly times when I like to vent and express my frustrations with certain things, people or organizations. I just do not like to Twitter strictly as a forum for constant whining and complaining about this world. Instead, I like to express praise and give out positive tweets. For example, our highway and road crews have taken a lot of heat lately over the poor conditions of the streets and highways after a recent storm. The conditions were totally out of their controls. All of them were working double shifts and doing their best, however, people were still criticizing the job they were doing. I sent out a tweet expressing my appreciation for their hard work. We like to rip athletes and politicians but what about some of the good things they do? Why not send out a tweet admiring their courage? If you do not agree with a certain political view, tweet out an alternative plan.
If you are not on Twitter, you should join asap. Despite some of the drawbacks, it is a wonderful site. I have really become addicted to it in the past few years. Very few sites offer so much up to date information and opinion as Twitter. Just use it wisely and do not become one of those #knuckleheads on Twitter.