Twitter is an active online community and form of social media that allows people to communicate with other Twitter members. Twitter limits communication to 280 characters (including punctuation and spaces) for each tweet sent.
You follow people to be able to easily see what they are tweeting. And you hope they follow you back, so they can read your pearls of wisdom. Including things like what you ate for breakfast, as well as your latest report on a crisis situation.
It’s kind of a site for all seasons. Twitter can help you connect to others during your career transition and exploration. And it can sell that eBook you wrote years ago about macrame car covers that’s still sitting on your cyber-shelf.
Getting used to the details
When I first started on Twitter, as simple as it may seem to folks who use it all the time, I found a lot of it confusing. All the little abbreviations and protocols — maybe accepted customs is a better term. There are Retweets (RTs) and Twitter Lists and Direct Messages (DMs). There’s even a Twitter Profile, as well as a way to display your location apart from your profile.
But without going into all the details, the main thing you might want to use this for is finding interesting articles, people to connect to, and, if you’re lucky, a network that will support you in whatever you’re doing. Including job search and career growth.
In my experience, I’ve found the members of my own network to be extremely intelligent, generous, kind, and polite. And also willing to retweet some fun things one of us might uncover.
While some Tweets may go mostly unread, some can take off in seconds and race around the world. It’s fascinating to see this happen — and extremely useful to people who are in a place where other communication may not be possible.
So is Twitter for you?
All that said, it’s still up to you to decide whether this is the best use of your time. And how much effort you’re willing to give it. It can definitely be addicting!
Then again, how can you quantify the value of finding that one person or article you see tweeted that gives you just what you need? Or the endless pictures of cute cats and dogs.
[Articles updated in 2020]