By Jen Monroe
In 2009, when I originally signed up for Twitter, I did it for the sole reason that celebrities and influential people/ brands in the US were talking about it. Mostly, I wanted to see what of the hype was. I took a crash course on how to follow people, how to find “people I know”, what on earth a hashtag was, and how to teach OTHERS how to use it. Back then, I used it to see what Ashton Kutcher and John Mayer were up to, to have quick conversations with my lifelong friends, and to use hashtags improperly to make a point after a statement (ie “Ohio weather stinks #gottamove #hateit #notcool”).
Today, Twitter has taken on a completely different role in my life. It is my go-to for news. Honestly, if I hear a rumor about something, I instantly search on Twitter to find out what happened. During the Boston Marathon bombing, I am quite positive I saw one of the very first reports of it (real time about 5 minutes after it happened) and I follow VERY FEW people from the Boston area. It’s incredible how quickly (and most of the time accurately) news spreads via Twitter.
My strategy for who I follow has totally changed from my early “what are celebrities up to” days. More often I follow things closely related to my personal interests or strangers from the Cleveland area that have similar interests. It’s incredible the amount of interaction sharing 140 character thoughts can cause among people from the same city. My early days approach was very similar to that of Facebook; interact with people you know, and just share about your life. Today, I have met a ton of new people and have conversations about things I love everyday with people I barely know, all thanks to Twitter.
If you haven’t tried out twitter (even if just to be a spectator) I couldn’t recommend it more!