Since quitting Facebook I’ve been on a quest to find the right mix of social networking sites for my distractible writer’s brain. I’m on LinkedIn, Digg, and Stumbleupon. Now you can add Twitter to the mix. Here’s why I like it, in simile form.
Twitter is like…
…a NEWSROOM. I spent much of high school and college in journalism, some in the newsroom with the other contributors and some behind the editor’s desk. I preferred the newsroom. Digging up good stories, making the words fit together, yelling at each other across the desks trying to get the right spelling of a name – it’s all very exciting. But now I write from home, and occasionally from Starbucks. Great flexibility. Not-so-great for people like me who thrive professionally on deadlines and stimulation. With Twitter I can be as connected (or as quiet) as I would like. Very similar to the newsrooms I have known and loved.
… HAPPY HOUR. Every now and then someone gets a little crazy. Shop talk intermingles with personal opinion, the day’s professionalism gets lost in one reckless retweet. Sure, I guess Facebook offers the same sense of hair-down-loosened-tie networking, but in my experience Facebook is like happy hour in a bar that demands access to your underwear drawer in exchange for drinks. Twitter offers just the right balance – I can have a drink or two after work, talk about the day’s victories (or failures), pay my tab, and go home.
… CHURCH in LAS VEGAS. There’s a certain amount of street smarts required for Twitter. For example, beautiful tan women with dangly jewelry who show up in my follower list might not actually care about my tweets – they probably just want me to click on the porn site in their profile. I block those followers without clicking the link. (If there’s any question about where I stand on pornography, read this blog post titled Atheism and Pornography. In the interest of balanced journalistic practice, you can read the atheist rebuttal here.) But without Twitter, I would have never known that Frank Peretti was going to be in town promoting his new book Illusion. And he would have never autographed my 1986 edition of This Present Darkness. And I wouldn’t have watched Peretti turn a casual book-signing into an intimate, small group discussion about universalism, filmography, and what it was like to co-write with Ted Dekker.
So yeah, I think I like Twitter.