Why I Tweet

Tweeting [posting a message on Twitter] IS conversation that is not just “for the birds”. It’s a way to soar to new heights of involvement in other people’s lives.

“A little bird told me . . . ” what did you hear, what are you listening to, what interests you and what of value do you have to offer others?

Twitter is a web service that is so easily integrated with other websites, phones and mobile devices that it is quickly becoming the primary way to stay involved.

I believe that Twitter is a valuable tool because it allows me to stay current with what’s happening right now in other people’s lives. It is a major method by which I can not only meet new networks and friends, but also build those relationships exponentially as we literally share our lives with one another in a messaging kind of way. These messages are sent in short updates based on the question “What are you doing now?”

However, that doesn’t mean to say that we need to know that you are blowing your nose or taking out the trash. It gives me “up to the minute” updates on what is happening in peoples lives: I get instant prayer requests, testimony to God’s provision, thought-provoking opinions and advice, leads and links to other resources, a wide range of TRUE HELP in a time of need. If too much noise comes from a source that I am listening to, I simply will no longer listen.

Just like in real life conversation you choose who you will listen to. “Follow” is the term that Twitter uses. Just as in a crowded room at a social event, you wouldn’t care to hear what every single person might have to say, rather you value listening to and talking with those who have something that you value to say or ask. What is interesting to you?

How interactive is it?? The crowded room is like a group chat in the new media world. A lot of different people are talking at once, so they have to be divided up into smaller groups “chat rooms” which generally center around some topic. However to participate in a chat room, or an IM chat for that matter, you must be physically there to take part. The conversation goes on without you and you may simply miss out.

This is a bit different than a message board… again usually centered around a topic or an email or webpost… which is posted then may be left for a while before any more activity takes place. Not necessarily at-this-moment, but when you get around to it. The posts are stored somewhere for reference and/or later action.

Now let’s look at Twitter. Twitter would be like the host of the party coming into the crowded room and saying, there is dancing in the Grand Hall, a buffet on the terrace, and by the way, a red BMW has left its lights on. If you were out of the room when the announcement was made your friend can restate what was said (Twitter keeps some of the more recent tweets), so you can pop in and out of Twitter and just check back. BBL (be back later) The announcements were made publicly, but a person chooses to act only on those things that are of interest to him.

My tweeting has gotten me into friendships that would have taken me much longer to find (if at all) just out on the streets. Twitter is a communication tool that acts kind of like a family reunion or gathering of friends. You get to know people by word of mouth: things they say, tweets about opinions they have, books they read, music and food preferences, and more importantly to me their overall character… the way that they live life.

Reach out… go to them…I see a HUGE opportunity here to bypass all the awkwardness of social boundaries like what do I wear, how do I act, who can I go with so that I’m not alone, suppose I don’t know anyone there… all the insecurities that can paralyze people in fear. I believe a lot of these concerns have crossed peoples minds at some time or another and driven them to the conclusion that going out into some social situations is just too ‘fake” as many people try to dress and impress for that first impression. Once people listen to others on Twitter, they get to know them before they go out in public places. Twitter is great for setting up a spontaneous get-together: meet for lunch, go to a movie, games at Lou’s… fear of rejection by asking out on a formal date is bypassed by “I’m going to —— wanna come?”.

I think that Twitter allows people to be honest and transparent in a way that frees a person from so much fear and rejection, and allows for true fellowship to take place. In my experience I have developed a group of people that I care for like family. When they hurt or need help, I am quick to encourage. When they celebrate something good, so do we all. That is BIBLICAL in my eyes.

Additional WITNESSING opportunities as postings demonstrate how a Christian lives in real life. Suddenly a non-believer’s aversion to anything Christian as being judgmental and hypocritical is challenged by the fact that there are several postings a day of how professing Christians are ‘walking the talk’. That all Christians are not condescending and condemning. That Christians, like any other person, are in process. We are ALL on a journey; and Twitter can help us take it side by side!

DARE—-Accountability — another benefit of the Twitter community is the fact that we can help each other remain accountable. Did you get that math homework done Jon? We essentially “spur one another on” — another Biblical principle I see that is assisted through using Twitter. We can challenge each other to examine our opinions and how those line up with the truth that we value.

SHARE—-By sharing what we experience, know, feel, enjoy, dislike, value and detest, we are opening ourselves up to the possiblities of helping each other,

CARE – encouraging and being encouraged,

PRAYER -praying for each other, giving advise and practical aid in specific areas that can be stated very specifically and in-the-moment. For example, “I am having a problem with trying to get my pictures off of the digital camera. Can someone help?” OR “My sister went into early labor, please pray” OR “I’m going to South Bend for the weekend. Where’s a good restaurant to try?”

For the most part Twitter is Public (there are privacy settings and direct messaging that can be just one on one) so many people can contribute to a conversation about when and where to meet, advice on problem-solving, recommendations on resources, when one person posts a prayer request or a statement about being ill or something, it is fantastic to see the flurry of posts that respond.

People do listen. People do care. Every person matters. Twitter helps communicate all of that.

Looking at INNOVATION as bringing creativity to bear against solving a problem, then Twitter is a very valuable tool in the realm of innovation.


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2 Responses to “Why I Tweet”

  1. Melanie Reed says:

    This is a great post about Twitter, Ellen. Great metaphors to use to describe how useful it is. Really enjoyed reading it and agree with what a help it is!

  2. Thomas Ho says:

    Right on!

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