Twitter is something you’re bound to have heard of even if you don’t use it. And if you don’t use it, you probably think it’s a place where celebs swan about pretending to be one of the ordinary folk while the rest of us talk about what we’re eating and how confusing it can be when your hands are very close to your own face.
I only did that once, I swear.
The fact is, there are a lot of celebrities on Twitter, if you’re into that sort of thing. Most of them are very nice and some are also quite chatty. Not that I advocate pestering them, it’s really not good form. And while much of what gets said on Twitter is very trivial, isn’t that just like when you’re chatting with your friends?
Think about the kind of conversations you have on a regular basis; that’s Twitter. Sometimes trivial, sometimes argumentative, sometimes hilarious and sometimes really interesting.
People complain about the trivial nature of Twitter all the time. Do you believe these people talk about nothing but important matters in real life, day in, day out? I sure as hell don’t.
I used to work in a call centre and it was exactly like Twitter. I worked at a pod in a room full of people all talking rubbish to get through the day. My pod consisted of a number of desks all pushed together and each one was occupied by a member of my team. We all got on really well and had a laugh as well as offering support to each other.
The rest of the room was made up of other teams. I knew these people, but not as well as my own team. But that didn’t stop me talking to them or helping them when they needed it and they would do the same for me.
One big team, made up of smaller teams with my desk and computer at the middle of it all. I could work quite happily on my own and at any point, if I felt the need, I could turn around or lift my head and chat with someone else.
For me, the people of Twitter haver become the other people in my office.
I follow, and am followed by, hundreds of people. I may not talk to them all but I recognise all their avatars. I know that some people are experts in some things that I might not be and should I need to, I can ask for their help or opinions. People provide me with different things throughout the day whether that’s a much needed laugh or an interesting link or the latest news. It’s all useful.
And I have a small group of friends who I chat with all the time, they are my team. The people I share my pod with. It’s really not that different from working in an office but it has one advantage; there’s an off switch.
When the chatter gets to be a bit much, you can easily escape and come back later.
As a writer I find Twitter very useful; it keeps me occupied and puts me in touch with lots of fellow writers. As well as a wealth of information from a variety of people I also get a very large and easily accessible support group. When the writing gets a bit much or I’m totally stuck on a plot point, there’s always someone around to help me through.
I accept it’s not for everyone, but if you want keep a group of like minded people just a click away, without all the messing about of Facebook, you can’t go far wrong with Twitter.