Prior to this class, I staunchly refused to enter the twitter-sphere. I didn’t see the merit of this new social media device–I already had a Facebook account which was more than adequate to serve my digital communication needs. Twitter just seemed like an unnecessary evil. It didn’t help that the majority of my friends seem to share the same opinion, so it’s not like I’d be able to communicate with them using this medium, regardless.
However, in the interest of using this course to its full potential, I have decided to explore those social media sites I’ve previously scorned, just to be fair. So shortly after our last blog post, I created a Twitter account, and have been playing with it ever since–look me up @iSingDanceRead.
Some of my initial hesitation proved true. Few of my friends use the site, so my “followers” are few, and many of those are people I’ve never heard of. And some of the content posted to Twitter seems redundant–why use 3 Tweets when you can communicate the same information in a more viewer-friendly manner via Facebook?
Having now used it, though, I can identify some perks to this tool. I’m most impressed by their app for Android phones. It’s very streamlined and easy to navigate, and while my Facebook app constantly crashes or refuses to load, I’ve never experienced any such inconveniences with Twitter to date.
I’ve also come to appreciate the sense of immediacy Twitter provides. Since people and organizations are constantly updating their Twitter feed, it’s as if you’re caught up in their train of thought, creating a more personal bond than one finds on Facebook, where daily posts average far fewer. I’ve loved following one of my favorite YA authors, Maureen Johnson, who is a self-professed Twitter-addict and constantly updates her page with both personal and professional information. It humanizes the name on the covers of her books, and makes her followers and fans feel more like friends.
However, this constant flow of information does have its drawbacks. Unless one is willing, like Maureen Johnson, to be constantly updating their page, it is easy for information to get lost in the flow of things. For example, I follow the Santa Clarita Library on Twitter, who updates their feed a couple times a day. While this is perfectly adequate for Facebook, where there is a much slower rate of information transfer, I’ve found that I rarely see their posts on my Twitter feed. When organizations and people update on an hourly basis, my feed is constantly in flux and posts are quickly lost in the flow.
So while I have come to appreciate Twitter for its unique strengths, and now consider it a valid social media tool, it is not without my reservations. This site provides a great opportunity to connect with patrons on an immediate and personal level, however, it requires diligent and frequent postings and monitoring in order to live up to its full potential.