I’m an early adopter. My twitter handle is @philjackman with no underscores or numbers. I didn’t have to bastardise my name or think of some clever pseudonym. I’m just me. I’ve also kept my firstname.lastname@example.org address for the same reason and I’m happy with my WordPress account philjackman. They’re easy to remember and easy to find.
I started using social media some time ago, early for someone of my advanced years, primarily to see what all the fuss was about. I felt that it was going to be the way of the future and it turns out that, for once, I was right. If this was the way that life was going to be in the future then I needed to at least understand what it all meant.
The future has arrived and is now the present.
I toyed with Facebook but found it too ‘social’. I don’t like the format anymore and it seems filled with videos of cats doing inane things or people projecting a lifestyle that they cannot possibly have. A whole new phenomenon has been created on the back of it. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is the feeling that you get that everyone else has a better life than you do brought on by spending too much of your life browsing your timeline.
I use LinkedIn but that seems to be for those who need a new job. Of course I blog using WordPress and I’ve tried my hand at Quora and Snapchat. You name it and I have tried most of them. I always come back to Twitter though.
I love twitter. My wife says you can only love people and not things. She’s right yet Twitter is about people. It isn’t just a thing. It is a reflection of the lives that people live, the things they find of interest, or funny or just downright weird. Some of it is mindless and dull but then so is some of life. Not everything can stretch the imagination. Twitter makes me laugh but that’s not the reason why I use it most of all.
The reason why I love Twitter is that it allows you to engage with people in a way that was never possible before. When I had finished Natasha Walter’s book ‘Living Dolls’ I tweeted how much I had enjoyed it and how it had made me think about the issues raised. She tweeted back to say thanks. I once blogged about how it was Hugh Sykes’ voice (BBC4 news journalist) I heard when I told myself stories in my head and he tweeted back to say thanks. When I was at Thinking Digtial this year and LJ Rich was performing on stage I tweeted to say how inspirational her session had been. She tweeted back straight away and favourited my tweet.
There is no other medium that allows you to get the instant rapport and feedback that Twitter gives. There is no other way to engage with people across the globe who have similar interests as you so quickly and effectively.
You just have to learn to say something in less than one hundred and forty characters.