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The Tech Deck

What are the benefits of having Twitter?

I had a friend ask me, "What are the benefits of having Twitter?"

When I first joined Twitter in 2007, I had the idea that it was going to be like MySpace, and all my friends were going to be on it, and we were going to the promised land of the ideal "social network" where everyone was connected and no one would miss any parties and life was grand.

That didn't happen.

What did happen is I gave up on social media in the great "Quit Facebook Day" purge of 2010. Within a month or two, I didn't miss Facebook, but I really missed Twitter. Turns out, it actually held value to me, so I reinstated it.

Every user has their own reasons, but here are the benefits I get from having Twitter.

Shouting into the wind

One thing I really missed was the ability to shout ridiculousness into the wind. Sometimes I think of something that I think of as funny, and I want the universe to know. Twitter is fantastic for allowing to you say what you want to say without caring what anyone else thinks. And then sometimes, just sometimes, people understand you and appreciate the moment for what it is. Or not. Remember, I don't have to care, and that's awesome.


My daily dose of humour

Twitter is the funniest place to be, if you follow the right profiles. There are so many fake celebrities and other jokey personalities on Twitter that you'll always be able to find someone to tickle your funny bone, no matter how dry/goofy/perverse your sense of humor is.


News and information about stuff I care about

Some people like to follow all of the so-called "thought leaders" in their space, who if followed blindly will turn you too into an expert. I tried this, and I wanted to jump off of a building. The thing is, not everyone who is good at their work is interesting. Not everyone who is interesting is relevant. Not everyone who is relevant has a Twitter account.

The trick it to find the sources of good, interesting, relevant news and information about the stuff you care about.


Just plain interesting stuff

There's just so much fascinating and interesting stuff out there, I could spend all day long just discovering new Twitter accounts to follow. One of my favorites are the Twitter accounts that post interesting photos. Others post recipes, haikus, or random thought provoking gibberish.


Twitter is only as good as the people you follow

If you're new to Twitter, it takes some time to find your thing. The only absolute truth is that Twitter is only as good as the people you follow. That means un-following all of those stupid celebrities that you get stuck with when you sign up. It means curating your following list with an iron fist.

No matter how cool someone is, if they post too much or they're obnoxious or simply boring, don't feel any obligation to follow them. Even your friends. If you hate Twitter, you hate the people you're following, so find new people to follow

What are you interested in? Find whoever writes about that. Follow them. How about your favorite band? Your favorite author, your favorite television personality, your favorite fictional character? Wherever your interests lie, there's probably a good Twitter feed that covers it.

Hope that helps?

Daniel Gayle
Dan Gayle joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He is currently a Python/Django developer in the newsroom, primarily responsible for front end development and design of

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