Why Twitter has become my preferred time-sink

Showing up everyday

Afterthoughts: Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

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I am late on the Twitter hype train, having only boarded in the last few months, but I am no-less enthusiastic than my fellow passengers. Coming from Facebook and Instagram, Twitter feels like a breath of fresh air. It feels like what social media is supposed to be when the people first conceptualised it.

Ideas matter

Twitter is a platform for ideas. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 followers or 1,000,000 followers, if what you shared is compelling, entertaining, or otherwise engaging, it will have an opportunity to be shared widely. Valuable ideas are easy enough to identify, just gauge the likes and retweets. As a result, most people on twitter, in pursuit of this engagement, seek to tweet high-value ideas. So long as one’s feed is curated to fit one’s interests, there will be no shortage of often novel insights or entertaining jabs to be consumed on a daily basis.

Clarity matters

The character limit for tweets is a stroke of genius. It forces people to condense their ideas into something you can read in a few seconds. Sharing a good idea is not enough, it needs to be delivered with concision – no easy feat. People often find success by being able to do just that, condense down abstract ideas into a tweet. That’s where a lot of the value from the platform is derived from. Before twitter, there was no good incentive to concisely describe complex concepts. As a result, there are a lot more ideas accessible to the layperson.

People matter

What I love most about twitter is the discoverability of cool new people. While I do follow a handful of classically-defined “celebrities”, most of my feed is populated with people with modest followings. Many of whom have become, by virtue of their tweeting, thought leaders in their niche. A lot of them are only a few years ahead of where I aspire to be, making them valuable sources of guidance and wisdom. Seeing what tweets they like, links they share, and tweets they make is far more interesting than seeing a polished and vetted post on Instagram or Facebook. It is casual and informal in that sense. I am following these people for them, not necessarily for whom they work for. I feel like I have found a goldmine, the amount of bookmarks I have on Twitter is evidence for that. I can only imagine what value can be derived when I start making twitter friends.

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