Twitter June 2011

I have a lot of friends who hate the idea of Twitter and think it’s a waste of time. I was one of them a couple years ago, but I’m glad I broke free – they will get left behind. Not way behind, but they will always be one step behind the most active members of society. They will always be second to found out. Twitter is reputable for spreading real-time information in the midst of major disrupting events – take the latest drama in the Middle East for example: if you had been following it on Twitter, you’d have known what was happening, from actual locals, hours and sometimes even days before you’d heard about it on the news. In a world where things move fast, that’s a big deal. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s an even bigger deal.

And information creates freedom. Your only options are the opportunities you are aware of, and if you’re not aware of what’s going on around you, then you lack choice. You will be stuck in a pit of stagnation where you simply have no idea that there are better paths to be taken. This is why education is stressed so heavily in wealthy, elitist families.

So with that said, my perception of Twitter and it’s relevance in the world is expanding:

The whole first year that I had an account, I rarely logged in, and the only aspect that I really paid attention to was my ratio. That was the exact wrong approach, of course. I hope my technology-skeptical friends don’t make the same mistake if they ever go as far as to give it a try.

Now I think of it as an attentional investment. I follow Tweeters that I think are worth my attention. With so much info on the web these days, it’s important to effectively sort through it to avoid information overload. Twitter does this. If I feel overwhelmed, I follow less people or check it less often. If I am bored, I follow more interesting people. I am introduced to new ideas only on topics that I find interesting.