Five reasons why you should join Twitter


Story by Anna Soldner, Copy Editor

There’s no doubt that in the land of social media, Facebook reigns king.  Worldwide, Facebook has grown to more than 800 million active users compared to only 100 million active Twitter users. But honestly, I’m #NotClearOn why so many people are hesitant to join Twitter. It’s quick, easy, and super fun. So now that Facebook completely sucks with the new Timeline, it’s about time that y’all quit complaining and start tweeting. Read on to discover five reasons why you should embrace Twitter in all its hashtag glory.

It gets to the point.
One might argue, “Tweets have to be 140 characters or fewer whereas Facebook statuses have no text limit!”

To whom I ask: Have you ever read a Facebook user’s obnoxious, 200-word rant about slow drivers, a passive aggressive coworker, their snobby Starbucks barista, politics, pop-up ads or perhaps the fickle weather?

You’re probably left wanting to spoon your eyeballs right out of their sockets.

Complainers are inevitable, but they seem to thrive best on social media sites like Facebook where they have both an audience and a 65,000 character limit.

One of the reasons why Twitter has proven so successful is because its updates are light, brief and well within the average user’s eroding attention span.

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that sometimes, less is much, much more.

Tweets are short, concise and to the point. There’s no mass chain statuses, novella-length complaints, or let-me-tell-you-every-last-detail-of-my-boring-mundane-life posts.

Twitter actually requires you to be a good writer, to cut out all the verbiage and wordy description and say it in as few words as possible.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish my 900-word rant on why Twitter is the best social network ever.

You control the content.

The other day I logged onto Facebook and read a status written by a girl with whom I graduated high school.

It read: “Ate way too much Indian food last night. Spending Easter on the toilet.” Was it awkward, weird and TMI of her to share her bowel movements with 600 Facebook friends?

Um, definitely. But the point is not to criticize her post, but rather the nature of the platform.

With Facebook, your friend list is like a slightly updated version of your high school yearbook. Sure, it’s a great way to keep in touch with close friends and family, but you end up reading updates about random people you have no relation to anymore.

Remember Ross, that guy you met at adventure camp back in 2007? Because you’re still Facebook friends, you somehow know all sorts of information about him, including that he just scored a TOTALLY AWESOME deal on eBay.

And your mother’s second cousin Judi from Florida? She just ‘pinned’ a crocheted loofah to her Pinterest page. Riveting.

But on Twitter it’s a one-way street — if someone follows you, you’re not automatically obligated to read about his or her life. You choose whomever you want to follow, no creepy strings attached.

It’s a breaking news source.

At this point you may say, “Okay, sure, but why should I join Twitter if I don’t have anything to say?”

As it turns out, you don’t have to broadcast your own thoughts to be a savvy Twitter user. In fact, lots of people don’t tweet at all, but rather use it as an alternative RSS feed to get quick and personalized news bits.

Last May, Twitter leaked the news of Osama bin Laden’s death 20 minutes before mainstream news outlets did. That set a remarkable precedent for social media’s role in
the news industry.

Personally, when I want lightning-fast news, Twitter is my go-to source. It’s almost always up-to-speed with news that’s specifically tailored to my interests, whether that be celebrity news (I found out about Steve Jobs’ and Whitney Houston’s deaths on Twitter), business foreclosures, natural disasters or election results.

You don’t have to be a prolific user to join in on the fun. Actually, you don’t have to tweet, retweet or reply to anyone at all.

Just log on to the Twitter homepage, track the hashtags on almost any local or global topic and read away. (Word to the wise: Stay clear of the daily trending topics, unless you want to lose brain cells.)

It’s a great networking resource.

Facebook is great for keeping in touch with friends, families and colleagues, but sometimes you need to take a break from reality and catch up with the Kardashians (JK!).

There’s no better place than Twitter to do this. Perhaps one of Twitter’s biggest draws is its ability to connect CEOs, celebrities, athletes and comedians with mere plebeians.

Unlike Facebook, where celebrity’s pages are usually run by PR reps, Twitter accounts are usually run by the person themself. So post links, engage in conversations and network with people and companies who you find interesting or can relate to.

Also, as silly as it sounds, Twitter is an excellent opportunity to build your personal brand, so treat your profile like a business card and your feed like an ongoing portfolio.

You never know if one of your followers will retweet an opening for your dream job, or even more life-affirming: Kim Kardashian might even retweet you.

Farmville doesn’t exist in the Twitterverse.

Need I say more?