When I first started using Twitter, I did not understand how to use it. Not knowing who to follow, I went with Twitter's basic suggestions; friends from Facebook, major news outlets, @BarackObama, and @jack. After a few months, I decided to more carefully select who I followed. As a result, Twitter became much more pleasing to use.
My Twitter use is something of a compulsion. Twitter sits on my iPhone's home bar, directly next to my thumb. Often, when I have a spare moment, I find myself reading through Twitter. Ever since they installed night mode, it has been much easier on my eyes.
Twitter's given me infinite reading content. In many ways it is better than a library, which also provides abundant content. Twitter users can enter into conversations with other users about anything. Hashtags # help to link ideas and provides a searchable context for those who want to see who is tweeting about a particular category of thought.
Consider the following twitter scenario:
@jack, the CEO of Twitter, tweets that his team's added a new feature to Twitter. Users can tweet back to @jack saying "Thanks so much for your great work @jack!" (provided the tweet is less than 280 characters). The coolest part of Twitter though is that @jack can tweet back to you.
On Twitter, you can talk to anyone. They may even respond to you. Twitter is in some ways a core part of the democratic process on the internet. @realDonaldTrump realized that online society is distinct and separate from offline society. @realDonaldTrump campaigned just as frequently online as offline. @realDonaldTrump is now @POTUS.
As for those who continue to criticize Twitter for not controlling the spread of fake news, I'd be happy to lend you my copy of a biography of Alexander Hamilton. When you read it, you'll realize that:
- fake news has been a component of American politics since the founding,
- vitriol and scorn are the norm,
- sex scandals were common too.
I use Twitter because I want to follow all kinds of discussions and occasionally participate when I feel like I have something meaningful to contribute. Recently, Twitter added the bookmark feature, so that we can save our favorite tweets and re-read them at our leisure. No more screenshots!
I'm going to keep using Twitter because I want to be part of the global conversation. Even if I have a small role to play in the #twitterverse, my journey from Monthly Active User (MAU) to Daily Active User (DAU) is complete.