What Has Twitter Done For You?

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.

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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?

Thanks to Valeria at ConversationAgent.com for inspiring me to post a comment that ended up being so big and loosely on-topic that it just made more sense to post it here with a trackback. :)

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  • http://www.carthrottle.com/ Adnan

    I totally agree with you here Brian (and sorry for the late comment). Whilst some may view Twitter as meaningless engagement in a sort of “Facebook-y” type way, I think it extends to a far more personal level than others realise.

    I've managed to meet rally and race car drivers through Twitter, auto enthusiasts such as yourself who never cease to amaze me with their dedication to the automotive scene, graphic designers, celebrities and loads more. And these are people I never would have been able to connect with before through just a blog.

  • http://dr1665.com DR1665

    Exactly. Prior to being on Twitter, I was what some people would call a “forum junkie.” Even now, most of my friends online are Mitsubishi guys. I spend more time talking to people I've met online with Eclipses than I do with those with whom I went to school! More than half the people at my wedding were car buddies from online.

    The thing about these forums, although one of the earlier forms of this new social media madness, is that most people are of similar mindset. If you have 14,000 Mitsubishi Eclipse owners together talking about things, they're going to generally share the same opinions. Granted, there are differences, but for the most part, we all see the world through similar eyes.

    With Twitter, on the other hand, we're now exposed to the world through the eyes and voices of others who are not based in our same sort of reality. While the only Mitsubishi owner on my forum concerned about GM's welfare might be the guy who works in the service department at a Chevy dealership, it's interesting to see how people in not only other industries or communities view the situation, but even people in other parts of the world.

    It really is brilliant. Thanks for the comments, Adnan. I do appreciate them.

  • http://www.twitter.com/maniactive Laura Bergells

    Bravo.

    “…Twitter, above all else, is being exposed to the thoughts of others.”

    That's a gigantic benefit. Even if nothing else pans out, that's brilliant.

    Great to see you blogging!

    @maniactive

  • http://dr1665.com DR1665

    Thanks, Laura! I like seeing how the various people I follow on Twitter relate the same information from their own perspectives. It's easy to spot where the articles they write are similar, but it's how those facts and specifications affect each author that comes through in their different styles. Once again, the more we are different, the more we are the same.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • stradablog

    In my case Twitter has exposed me to a bunch of great people, who share an interest in cars, automotive, and the industry. Its much faster to communicate than blogs, or forums.

    The “Automotive Twitter” is there such a thing? Is great it permits to exchange different views, ideas, opinions….its great.

  • stradablog

    In my case Twitter has exposed me to a bunch of great people, who share an interest in cars, automotive, and the industry. Its much faster to communicate than blogs, or forums.

    The “Automotive Twitter” is there such a thing? Is great it permits to exchange different views, ideas, opinions….its great.