Okay. I admit that I am an early adopter. I’m one of those people who loves to try out new technology. My family just rolls their eyes every time I tell them about something new on the Internet. “Mom, that’ll never catch on,” they are fond of saying. Well, I remember when my kids were still Facebook doubters. And now, look at them! My daughter is attached at the hip to her laptop and walks from room to room with it perched on her side like an infant. She keeps up with the latest gossip, music and YouTube videos via Facebook (I actually DON’T really know what she does on Facebook as I try not to be the nosy parent and as she is 16 and a half, I feel I should respect her privacy for the most part). My son doesn’t even know how to use email apparently since he only corresponds via Facebook messages!
When I first told them about Twitter, they may have actually guffawed…I think they did. But, I charged ahead breathlessly explaining it to them. They listened patiently and shook their heads. When I showed up with a Twitter t-shirt on one day, I was subjected to downright ridicule in the kitchen–but I was undeterred. I proceeded to create accounts for both kids and for my husband because I had read that people were snapping up Twitter usernames left and right, just like in the old days when domain names were flying off the virtual shelves. I noticed last week that my daughter has been checking out Twitter and it won’t be long before they are full-on tweeting, I’m sure.
So, why am I so sure you ask? The reason is–laziness. I know, many people argue that Twitter is too much work. I hear some say that they don’t have time to monitor another messaging site. It’s like another email account that needs to be read, filed and cleaned up regularly. It seems like so much work. But, in reality, there is none of that required. You read short tidbits of information and no maintenance is required. Sure, you can download lots of cool apps but that is just gravy. If you want, you can keep it simple–no frills. I would argue that the reason Twitter will succeed is because people are fundamentally lazy. We are always looking for ways to make our lives easier and once you get the hang of it, Twitter makes finding information on the web incredibly easy.
For example, how do you find time to read all of those opinionated bloggers? How do you keep track of all of the fast-breaking news? Where do you get tips on new music, television shows, restaurants, etc? Where else can you have all of this delivered to you for free, by people you can get to know and trust and in a format that forces them to be concise and to the point. No more phoning around and enduring lengthy rambling telephone calls with friends in order to find out about a new band. No more bothering with those messy RSS feeds to keep track of who is insulting who and what politician has messed up lately. It’s no longer necessary to even watch television shows or attend meetings–you can just follow the tweets of someone else who obviously has more time on their hands than you do! It’s a dream come true for the lazy and the impatient (like me, for example).
Hashtags are downright heavenly–you can track every tweet on any given subject if you know the secret codeword. It satisfies our need to be exclusive and clique-y. People will love it–people DO love it. And the search results are better than a Google search listing–way better. You can actually understand what you are reading and the listing is indexed and updated by the second! Oh, and say goodbye to lengthy URLs–those URL shortening services are so effective they’re scary. The conspiracy theorist in me worries about what can be done with these services but I continue to joyously reduce my links without worrying about the possible consequences. Why WOULDN’T people flock to the little blue bird?
Will Twitter last? I think it will. After all, television news is still around and people love it! Television news is kind of like the forefather of Twitter in that it feeds you short, simplified explanations about complex, lengthy issues. TV news typically runs stories that are about 1-3 minutes in length and skims over things to give you a quick summary of the day’s news items. There was a time when people said, “it’ll never catch on–it’s just fluff–not real news.” Well, I guess we know how that one turned out. I remain convinced that Twitter is here to stay. Unless of course, spammers completely mess with the formula. In this case, I’ll go with the glass half full crowd. Go Twitter.