The Upsides and Downsides of the Twitter Habit

Living in the information age, social media like Facebook and Twitter have become indispensable tools. We can now connect, communicate and promote easily, even stay up-to-date by the second. Social networks are some of the best innovations in the past century, and they might even be useful for another hundred years.

Intended for concise thoughts or brief reports, Twitter has been the top microblogging platform since 2006. In 2012, the tweeting population has grown to nearly half a billion. 175 million tweets are sent daily, and thousands are created every second. A huge torrent of tweets is generated by users who post frequently while going about their day. This is made even easier by smartphones that allow you to broadcast your thoughts and snapshots at the moment.

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Twitter

Twitter’s popularity is largely due to the convenience of immediate, real-time updates. It’s not only a way to keep tabs on your buddies or favourite celebrities; it’s also the best medium to access the most current news, hottest trends and latest reviews. There’s no denying that in some way or another, our lives have become accustomed – even dependent – on networking tools like Twitter.

Are you a Twitter Addict?

Most addicts tend not to know they’re addicted, so it’s good to know the signs. Below are symptoms of Twitter addiction:

1. Spending more time and effort on Twitter rather than doing important work.

2. Feeling frustrated when Twitter has a disruption.

3. Making Twitter your home page.

4. Adding your Twitter username to Google alerts.

5. Getting overly excited when someone follows or retweets you.

6. Tweet while using the toilet! πŸ™‚

Because Twitter is such an easy and effective medium, it’s hard not to get too attached. And since the world today practically functions around immediate information, it’s almost ridiculous not to have a Twitter account. If used properly, it actually provides many advantages.

twitter addict

The Advantages of Twitter Obsession

1. Immediate information and real-time reports

Staying up-to-date is simple – even with celebrities, bands, businesses, media companies and fashion trendsetters. Follow who you find interesting, then get instant info directly from them. Get the latest news without making a Google search!

2. Retweeting

If you find anything amusing or appealing, you can easily share it by hitting the “retweet” button. Retweeting can make information travel faster and wider, even reach a multitude of people around the world. In this way, Twitter is an excellent tool for promotion and info dissemination.

3. Instant feedback

If you need a survey or a review, tweet about it and your followers can reply immediately. This has proven to be very useful to businesses, companies and media companied.

4. It’s easy to use

It’s very simple – no need to design a layout, no pressure to “friend” anybody. All you have to do is create an account and start tweeting.

In the big picture, Twitter brings attention to ideas and causes that may not be noticed otherwise. It has already generated awareness for various advocacies, raised funds, connected people and even changed lives. But as we’ve probably observed, social media is not without its disadvantages.

The Downside of the Twitter Habit

1. Inattention to language

With microblogging tools like Twitter, Plurk and Bitly, people get used to expressing themselves in the least number of characters possible. Many developed the habit of shortening words into txt spelling. In effect, language is rapidly devolving.

2. Severe addiction

This seems harmless compared to alcoholism or substance abuse, but it can lead to other problems too.

3. Restless minds

Because we’re accustomed to processing so much data during the day, our minds tend to be overactive. We spend our much-needed down time craving more information, and sometimes creating our next status update.

4. Decreased productivity

It’s easy to put more time and energy on tweeting rather than on the more important things in your life. This may result in losing your job or relationships.

All the social media we use are tools – we don’t have to be enslaved to them, but we can definitely use them to improve our lives. As we’ve already become dependent on Twitter and other media, we need a healthy perspective and a good balance to make our online interactions profitable.

Do you use Twitter? Are you a Twitter addict? Tell us in the comments.

Peter Lee has a tech blog featuring articles about computers and technology. He recently wrote an article about why an external hard drive is important to you. If you are in doubt of why an external hard drive is so important, then check out his blog at ComputerHowToGuide.com. Oh by the way, just for the record, he is not a Twitter addict.

About Peter Lee

Peter Lee is the webmaster of ComputerHowToGuide.com and loves receiving feedbacks about his blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @com_howtoguide

Comments

  1. I am happy to have found an awesome way to market a brand with the right peoiple without having them follow me πŸ˜‰

  2. Hari Narayan says:

    Nice and informative article. Nice one Peter lee

  3. I wouldn’t consider myself a Twitter addict, not yet anyway. I just like the fact that it is very easy to use even if posts are short and simple. If I visit a fairly popular site or service that is not working Twitter is usually the first place I turn to see if others are having problems. If so you can usually find out in a matter of minutes, and sometimes seconds.

    • I like Twitter because of the same reasons as yours. The other day our appartment was shaking and I quickly looked into Twitter. I got the news immediately. It was an 8.7 magnitude earthquake near Indonesia. We could feel the tremor too since we are so near to them. Twitter is always so fast and reliable as far as I’m concern. Thanks for stopping by Ray.

  4. Nice post Peter. I don’t think that I am a twitter addict but I am facebook addict for sure, as I login to facebook daily. πŸ™‚

    • Twitter is simple and fast! Believe me, you can get addicted to Twitter easily if you use it and has followers that are of the same interest as you. Thanks for the comment Naser.

  5. Less is more. Too much of a good thing is not good either. We must know how to manage our time and balance things up. Don’t get addicted to anything in life. I’m glad that you like my humble post Amrik. Thanks for reading.

  6. Pater i haven’t use Twitter as much as i use Facebook because i have very little followers so that may be a one reason.

    • I’m sure you started Facebook with no followers too right? It won’t grow if you don’t use it. Do you think the younger generation just don’t use Twitter that much compare to Facebook? Gosh I’m old… πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Peter,
    Just coming over from Barry Well’s blog and saw your comment there. Like everything else in life, you’ve got to do things in moderation. Too much off anything is no good. As a marketer, using twitter wisely can bring good free traffic and help you create good relationships.

    Knowing about Twitter correctly (from a marketing standpoint) and taking action on your knowledge is all part of your work schedule as a marketer. Key word being schedule. Marketers can not spend all day on Twitter. About 15 to 30 minutes max is healthy not only for the mind but will allow you to continue with the rest of your work load.

    From a marketing standpoint Twitter is about sharing other peoples related good stuff, it’s not about as Barry Wells says you, you, you all the time.

    I like your blog and what you’re doing Peter, catch you later,

    Terry Conti

    • My thoughts exactly Terry! Oftentimes, people just got overexcited on their social media be it twitter or facebook. They told the whole world on how they achieved this and that, how much money they made from this and that. Gosh that looks silly! Although it is perfectly okay to let people know who you are and what you do, the topic of me-me-me can get tiring unless you are famous wouldn’t you agree? Thanks for dropping by Terry. See you around πŸ™‚

  8. Shekhar says:

    Twitter is fantastic if used properly and smartly…as you can quickly be retweeted in no time and going viral is just matter of time on Twitter.

  9. Barry Wells says:

    Hi Peter, I came over after Amit left me a comment on my blog, “thanks Amit”.

    You’re absolutely right Peter, we can waste far to much time on the Social Media sites and not really achieve anything in the process. I avoided joining Facebook for that very reason but have submitted and joined it in the end…… but that’s another post πŸ˜‰

    When I first started using Twitter I really couldn’t get my head around why so many people were raving about it, but as they were I wanted to get in there and try to understand what it could do for me. I followed the directions from a product that instructed us to automate as much as possible, so as to save us time. The only trouble there was that it wasn’t as targeted as we need it to be so I stopped using automation and got my head into gear.

    Since doing so Twitter has been in my top ten traffic sources and is, more times than not, my number one traffic source….. For over 2 years πŸ™‚

    I use Hootsuite to manage my Twitter account and think I spend a maximum of 30 minutes there a day, replying to tweets, thanking people for tweeting and retweeting other peoples content. I schedule them to be sent throughout the day so it gives the appearance that I’m there most of the day when i am in fact getting on with other things πŸ˜‰

    It’s all to easy to get carried away and before we know it we’ve spent hours doing nothing productive which is why I make it one of my first stops of the day. I then know that i have more pressing matters to get on with πŸ˜‰

    Thanks Peter, and thanks Amit for bringing me over here mate πŸ™‚

    barry

    • Hi Barry, Heartily Welcome mate πŸ™‚ Really Glad to see your comment on my blog.
      I am also using Hootsuite and TweetDeck. Its really cool software for handling your Twitter in One Interface.
      Thanks for your superb comment πŸ™‚ Keep Visiting πŸ™‚

    • I guess what we need to realize is that social medias are just tools. Spending 2 – 3 or more hours on them doesn’t necessarily bring positive results. I know social medias are good for promoting products, blogs and stuffs, but that don’t need 2 – 3 hours a day. Appreciate the comment Barry and thanks for reading.

  10. More than a Twitter addict, one can call me a fb addict.

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