Twitter is part of my daily routine, my entertainment, an education, a tool and a toy. I love it these days, I've gone from sceptic to...well I want to say scholar but I can't, I really want to use that word because it flows, lets just say am now a regular user and an advocate.
Here are my reasons.
An unrestricted internet knows no border or physical boundary, a cafe owner in Pakistan can tell the world he hears a helicopter flying over his neighbourhood (just before Navy Seals assassinate his neighbour) while someone in Surrey can share pictures of their lost cat.
The 140 character restriction stops your screen getting dominated by a splurge of text from one user, enforcing more flow and etiquette. Its more than a forum, more organic.
So what's the difference between that and Facebook to me?
It feels like Facebook has a greater emphasis on knowing the people you add, or their friends, searching by name and email address. Twitter is the same but its more about following people for what they say. As the age old saying goes :
'Facebook is where you lie to your friends, twitter is where you tell strangers everything'
Local news, views, advice, the right-wing arguing with the left, disgruntled protesters venting their frustration at the advancing police, worried parents, sad losses, the oppressed, the local business to the large corporation. Such a wide range of people to be observed and engaged with.
The potential gains from a single tweet is massive. Your trivial banter could lead to friendship, romance, a business venture , fame , fortune, world domination even a pleasant chat!.
So you might assume I think Facebook sucks. But I really don't.
Facebook is very useful in my modern life. I like to know where my friends are and what they are doing, especially since a lot do not use twitter. Just knowing they are a mouse-click away is reassuring. There are times when twitter just wouldn't work:
Living in a block of flats led to a Facebook page for residents becoming a vital tool for communicating issues and venting frustrations with building management. Twitter just isn't the right platform for the job and I don't want to share my current thoughts, feelings or actions with my neighbours.
They are both tools to communicate whether its shameless self-promotion, just to have a laugh or to keep up with current events and how you use them is the best bit, you can do what you want.
I think the most powerful thing twitter has to offer is better explained with a simple example. Last night I re-tweeted the following tweet:
'Can anyone whose child has/had a spinal brace fitted give me some advice on making sleeping with it more comfortable? Please RT many thanks'
Then I viewed her tweets and saw -
'I can't believe the response to that tweet. It's crashed my twitter twice ha x '
People had obviously been busy re-tweeting and replying.
What twitter offers is the ability to connect with relevant people, to ask for advice and, most importantly, to be reminded that people will still help a stranger.
Follow Graeme White on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nineweeks