Sink or Tweet- How Twitter can help keep your head above water

In today’s social media world, it’s hard to keep up with all of the new networking web-sites.  Even the ones we use on a daily basis contain features many may not even know about.  We will be covering one social media site a day this week.  We started yesterday with Facebook.  Keep checking the site this week as we cover Tumblr and Google+.

There’s no denying that the flow of information has become so thick and come to move with such a fast current that it’s easy to feel as though you’re drowning.  As students, we are expected to memorize and regurgitate statistics, definitions and boundless information every week for exams, quizzes and projects.  How could there possibly be time to keep up with world events, breaking news or anything that may interest us?  All too often we end up living in a little bubble of classwork, emails and meetings with professors to beg for an extension.

 

On top of that, “fluff” news has become the currency of our generation.  In this social media age, our mindset often confuses the hard news and the fluff or gossip.  While it is exciting to dish about how you saw on Facebook that you’re high school class president dropped out of college, had a baby and supposedly picked up a decent drug habit, this is not news.  And let’s face it, our generation has become so accustom to instant gratification that anyone actually carrying a newspaper with intent to read it might as well be walking around campus with three heads.

It can be hard to keep up with the events of the world.  Unless you plan on picking up that archaic newspaper or checking several different media websites and weeding through all of the different headlines until you find an important story, it’s near impossible

In this river of information, Twitter throws us a preverbal life-preserver.  Allowing us to pick and choose what to keep abreast on, it organizes all of this information into an easy to use and manageable timeline.  Whether you follow The Huffington Post, Ryan Seacrest, your favorite TV show or for some reason, FOX news, Twitter makes is simple to keep up with events and people that interest you.

How Twitter works is really very simple.  You create an account and then you are able to follow anything or anyone that you would like to keep up with.  You are able to follow certain celebrities, news publications, sports stars, comedians and more.

Many people are opposed to Twitter because they think it’s just for following celebrities and reading what they had for lunch.  Obviously, nobody cares about that…well, maybe some people do, but those people have more problems than whether or not to create a Twitter account.  When used productively, Twitter can help you weed through the aforementioned “fluff” and keep you to date on things that should really matter.

 

Say you were following the Huffington Post.  Occasionally throughout the day they will post links to stories of interest with its headline.  It’s easy to just read the headline, decide whether the story interests you and follow the link if it does.  The same goes for other things that may interest you. Celebrity news, jokes by comedians or even your university for updates.

Twitter also has a “hash tag” feature.  Using the “#” symbol you can converse with anybody, anywhere based on a topic.  For example, if you wanted to share your opinion about a performance on the Oscars, you would simply type your statement then hash tag “#Oscars.”  Anybody also talking about the Oscars on Twitter will be able to view your comment and reply to it.

With all of its benefits, Twitter does have a few drawbacks.  Take it from someone who’s started his Twitter account when he still had a Tracfone; unless you have a smart phone with Internet access, Twitter will be incredibly hard to follow.  Without a smart phone, you will only be able to log into your account when sitting at a computer.  Unless you are glued to a computer screen for the majority of the day, catching up with the tweets you missed can be near impossible.  A smart phone is almost absolutely necessary.

So what are you waiting for? Take the life preserver. Stop struggling to tred through all this information.  Log onto Twitter and get connected to the world.  And while you’re at it, make us your first follow- @BUnoworg. (http://twitter.com/#!/BUNoworg)

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