If I had a dime for each time someone asked “what’s the point of Twitter, anyway?”, I’d have $3.20 cents.
There’s a possibility I once asked that question myself. I mean, how much can you really say in 140 characters? And what’s the point in reading such pithy offerings? They’re not novels, and you can’t build characters.
People so often dismiss Twitter because of all of the above and more. Add to that comments like “do I really need to know about how awesome your dinner is? Do I want to read about what cute thing your son did today?”
The answer to all of that is obvious: no. No, I don’t need or want to know about any of that.
Despite these objections, I’ve been a long time user and reader of Twitter. Since I’ve had to explain my fascination so many times, it seemed a good idea to blog about it at least once. That way I can just cut and paste the blog link whenever yet another person says “Twitter? Can’t stand it (even though I’ve never used it or even read anything from it). Why would you waste your time?”
One thing you learn when communicating in your workplace is to make sure your main point is contained within the first few lines of your email. People don’t want to have to wade through paragraphs of pre-explanation prior to getting to the point of your message. This is especially true if you want something from your reader.
You can start with something like “I would like you to come in early on Friday to help with the TPS report”. You can then feel free to use a few paragraphs to explain why. They’re free to read it or not as they see fit.
The neat thing is, if they want to say “no”, they’ll have to read through the rest so that they can better understand the request, and build up a compelling reason to decline.
You are used to hearing the phrase “information overload”. There are so many sales pitches, requests for help, and offers to help you enlarge your penis or get bigger breasts (not to mention family and friends forwarding messages with the title “HAHAHA CHECK THIS OUT, BRO!”), that it’s hard to track. And it’s definitely hard to keep focus. Almost everyone suffers from this, thus the need to get straight to the point while sending emails at work.
Twitter doesn’t offer explanation. There’s just simply no room. So you’re left making your point as concisely as possible.
Frankly, with all of the serious news coming out of the internet, I don’t enjoy doing anything serious while on my own time. I rarely write serious stuff on my Facebook wall. And I certainly don’t want to engage in serious Twitter posts.
My secret for using Twitter is: I generally only follow funny people. People with the funniest tweets interest me, especially as they don’t have the room to do a full setup of the joke. I like that. I think it shows a superior wit. And so I not only read them, but try to emulate them as well – using my own jokes of course.
As you begin reading some of these people (and dropping the more serious Twitter feeds), you learn a few tricks along the way too. Such as: find out who these funny people are following. Generally, they’re interested in reading other humorous people. Eventually as you begin following those too, you can build up an impressive list of hilarious comedians who make Twitter a truly engaging and fun place to be.
Like this guy:
This isn’t to say that I don’t (ab)use Twitter for my own non-funny reasons either.
It’s a great place to posts links to my reviews for Criminal Minds and NCIS. But mostly I like laughing, and at the middle of a stressful day, it’s great to have access to so many truly fun and funny people.
P.S. I don’t really drink while on the job. At least, not from a flask. (And not because it doesn’t hold enough, either)