It's Our Turn: All atwitter over tweetingI still remember the first time I came across Twitter a few years back. Another stupid social network I thought. Today, I’m ready to admit I was dead wrong.
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
I still remember the first time I came across Twitter a few years back. Another stupid social network I thought. Today, I’m ready to admit I was dead wrong.
I know now that I was too quick to judge. I believed the stereotype, that Twitter was just another outlet for people to tell us mundane facts about their day-to-day lives.
Slowly but surely, I’ve come to see it for what it really is. It’s humor, news and all the latest info packed into 140 characters or less; a true testament that great things do come in tiny packages.
For those who still don’t know how it works, here’s a crash course. You simply create a handle (@insertnamehere) and you’re ready to go. From there, follow whoever you want and everything they post will show up on your timeline and anything you post will appear to your followers.
For those who want information the second it happens, there is no faster outlet. I follow everyone from personal friends, to comedians, to journalists all over the country. It’s a hodgepodge of humor, opinions, news and links to the latest stories.
The thing that ties that all together is the hashtag (#), perhaps Twitter’s greatest feature. It’s the hashtag that allows us to group a single subject onto one page. You want to see what people have to say about battling rattlesnakes in Montana? There’s a hashtag for that.
Let’s go directly to the #twittersphere for an example. Here we have Steve Devereaux, or @CeleritySteve as he’s known to his 102 followers. Devereaux was once a substitute teacher in Alexandria and the surrounding area who now works at a hot springs in Bozeman, Montana.
On October 1, @CeleritySteve tweeted: “I killed a 3 foot long rattlesnake near the gate of the hot springs with a garden tool today. #Poolboy #CountryStrong #CowboyUp.”
This was followed immediately by this tweet: “I was wearing boat shoes when all that went down. Planning to skin, tan/cure, and eat it soon. #Poolboy #CountryStrong.”
As you can see, these tweets have a little bit of everything. We have an actual event taking place (the killing of a snake). Humor follows with the use of hashtags (#Poolboy, #CountryStrong). Devereaux then wraps it up on a serious note as he lets us into the severity of his situation by acknowledging he has to eat the snake for sustenance reasons.
Devereaux has given us an example of a person using Twitter to brighten another’s day. Are there examples of people using Twitter for evil instead of good? Of course there are. It’s the Internet. But there’s no sense in letting a few bad apples ruin the fun for the rest of us.
My advice for those who haven’t already joined the #twittersphere: Give it a chance. Then give me a follow @echo_sports.
“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.