The other day, my wife and her best friend – neither of which use Twitter nor have any intentions of doing so – asked me what I’ve gotten out of it. I wanted to give them something tangible that would convert them over, but had a hard time coming up with an answer.
I’ve been tipped about sweet job openings, but I’ve not pursued any of them for whatever reason. I’ve been asked to help consult on a few projects, but nothing major. I’ve even had it suggested that there had to be a way to get me over to Europe to help start a premium, autmotive business venture, but sometimes red tape and “real life” get in the way.
So, I ended up telling them that the one, Earth-shattering benefit I’ve received from being on Twitter, above all else, is being exposed to the thoughts of others. Even though we are all unique individuals, sharing our thoughts in this way makes it possible to see how we are all the same.
The product designer in Ohio.
The change agent in Phoenix.
The music geek in Astoria.
The rally fan in Australia.
The webmaster in London.
The guy in Atlanta who’s always playing X-box Live: Guitar Hero.
It doesn’t matter how we’re all different.
Twitter shows us how we’re all the same.
Once we think someone else might be the same as us, we become more open to what they have to say. Their lives take on more importance to us and vice versa. We become empowered, not necessarily because we are cashing in benefits all the time like some sort of social media high roller, but because openness to the ideas of others leads to the consideration of your own ideas. It leads to change.
We remain individuals, as varied as can be, but where we used to focus on how our individualism made others seem different, Twitter is showing us how we’re all the same and we are all changing together. We maintain our unique differences but we’re becoming more accepting of others and that’s an area in which I know I can always improve. That’s the biggest thing I think Twitter has done for me. How about you?