The appeal of Twitter stems from its simplistic nature. Like a town crier or playing telephone (correctly) it allows your thoughts, opinions, ideals and whereabouts to be announced to a mass audience. And as simple as the format is, it makes you wonder why something like it wasn’t invented earlier?
Lets be honest, Twitter, like so many other social networking sites has celebrity appeal. Not solely in the sense that anyone can follow a celebrity—like Jessica Simpson—but you may feel like a celebrity as well. Think about it: You upload a picture and thirty of your friends comment…you tweet about your favorite song and twenty people agree.
“Twitter is the perfect tool for me to keep up with friends and know that they’re alive, without having to be in direct communication all the time,” said 22 year-old frequent Twitter user Jessica DeTiege.
“It even serves as a 140 character diary or therapist, letting me release my thoughts and feelings to those who care…and even those who don’t!”
The gratification of getting other peoples thoughts on your every move attracts users, along with the need to constantly be abreast of what’s going on. But while some find it hard to not constantly check, others use Twitter strictly for business purposes.
“Twitter is not my social media crack, it’s barely exciting,” said Kyle McCullers, 25. “However, it is useful when I want to send a mass message to promote something. If I were more active, maybe followers and I would be more engaged.”
From nightclub announcements to new Apple apps, the site is a genius way of spreading news without the fuss of a marketing campaign. Many companies have even designated full-time positions solely focused on social-networking outreach included making regular Twitter updates.
Just recently, seeing the advertising potential for other businesses, Twitter decided to make money off their popularity. Called “promoted tweets” they will appear only in search results that businesses will use to reach a wider group of people.
So how do you wean off the proverbial “crack”?
- Make a strict limit to the amount of times you check tweets a day
- Don’t make it an application on your phone or favorite page on you computer
- Filter your ‘tweet’ thoughts, by just texting one friend…everyone doesn’t need to always know everything.
- If you have to use it for work, stick to your company’s sites. Avoid checking your personal page or pages that have nothing to do with your job.
- Un-follow people or groups that don’t add to your life in a truly positive way (the gossip column may have to go… unless it’s Bossip).