When social networking fledgling giant Twitter began to pick up speed and gain popularity last year, all I heard from clients was, “I don’t want to get on it because I couldn’t care less when someone goes to the store, sees a good program on t.v. or is sitting on their porch doing nothing.
I couldn’t agree more.
But then we all started hearing how staggeringly useful it was when a hotel was bombed by terrorists in Southeast Asia – the “tweeters” getting the story out to the world before the media could comprehend what had happened. Again, when unrest hit Iran and their government imposed a media blackout, Twitter was asked by the U.S. government to delay their maintenance cycle so that the flow of information from that beleaguered country was not impeded. I myself used Twitter to warn locals of a water main break and to avoid that area like the plague and recently to warn my clients of the health warning of a salmonella outbreak in eggs across the United States.
What does all this tell us?
That Twitter is a force for either good or evil, depending on who you follow in your network.
It is easy to blame the other guy for their tweets, but since we cannot control the actions of others, doesn’t it make more sense to take the responsibility of harnessing Twitter’s power for good and choose who we follow more carefully? Take a few seconds when considering whether to follow someone or not and do a quick scan of their last few tweets…are they garbage or are they useful, inspiring, uplifting and motivational information? Choosing to association with people that tweet with care will also reflect better of our character to others who choose to follow us. No one with a busy networking schedule wants to follow someone who follows gossipers and time-wasters, or worse, someone who constantly swears…if you really need to follow people like that, get a private Twitter account and follow such people anonymously. You will find it will make life a lot easier.
Follow me at: http://twitter.com/civicsitedesign . If you tweet responsibly, I will gladly follow you back.