Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Reasons to Consider Twitter

Twitter is a touchy subject. I love it and think the service is great, but I find I'm often presented with people violently opposed to a service they have never tried. My mom Tweets, but I'd like to see her Tweet more, and I knew when I started Lessons for Old People that Twitter was something I would need to cover extensively. But with the anti-Twitter people out there, I thought diving into the topic was something I would do slowly. So today we'll just dip our toe slowly.
  1. There are Old People on it. I know this seems odd—studies have found Twitter is becoming wildly popular with the young people—there are a lot of Twitter users over 55. but of the demographics available to me (young college students, young professionals, adults, Old People) my audience and followers are overwhelmingly Old People, despite drawing friends from college students and young professionals. Resistant Old People will find that they are not alone.
  2. It's easy to use. You can post through Twitter's home page, your cellphone or PDA, iTouch/iPhone, desktop, and a variety of plug-ins for your Web browser.
  3. Some 140 character updates are worth knowing. You know that friend you look forward to talking to at cocktail parties? He always has something great to share: a new Web site he found on the Internet, a witty quip regarding current events, a great comeback for just about anything. And you know that lifelong friend who sends the best Christmas letters? They're on Twitter! And they're just as engaging in 140 characters as they are by letter and in person.
  4. You can follow anyone without letting them follow you. Unlike most social networking sites, you can choose who can read what you Tweet when you protect your updates. So if you protect your Tweets, and you want to follow someone without allowing them to follow you, you can!
  5. You're savvy. Follow me on this one. Not only are you "one fascinating SOB," you're an Old Person capable of learning new things. And you're yearning to show your family and friends how brilliant you are. How great would it be to revel in the glory of everyone's attention when you sign up for an account and add your beloved friends and family? That's the last time your family calls you Prehistoric at the annual holiday meal.
  6. The Mormon Church is not a fan. The link explains the controversy, but is there anything more exciting than breaking Church doctrine while maintaining a standard of morals?
  7. Cameron Diaz and Mike Myers have also been forbidden to Tweet! In this way it's something you can do that they can't!
If you're interested in following me, I tweet under @parapluiesdoux.

Post-Script: After writing this post for future publication, I read Neil Gaiman's (@neilhimself) tweets (1, 2, 3), wherein he drunkenly shares loving good nights to his two daughters and girlfriend. His play-by-play of too much to eat and too much to drink makes me think I should campaign harder for both parents to join Twitter. Not because my father would have drunken revelry to share, but because hilarious things could still come. Help me, Internet! My father is armed with a dangerous, hilarious dry wit.

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