Most evenings I find myself sprawled across a sofa, phone in hand, looking at nothing in particular. Despite my constant scrolling it doesn’t feel like I’m getting any closer to finding whatever it is I’m searching for. Eventually, I throw my phone down, huff and puff my way to a standing position, and pronounce: ‘Urgh, I hate social media’.
Yet, how much do I really hate these sites of mass communication?
My secret is, when it comes to one particular social media site, I really don’t. Twitter is my vice. Twitter is my comforter when I’m stuck in awkward social situations. Twitter is where I vent about minor frustrations. Twitter is where I while away countless hours finding out about stuff I never knew I wanted to know about.
These are 5 reasons why Twitter is my favourite way to waste time, meet new people, and get neurotic about whether or not I’m cool or funny enough:
1. It’s where I find out all world news.
The fact that I check twitter so regularly means that I am constantly up to date with what is going on in the world. Sometimes this can be a bit much, especially with the more terrifying instances that have happened recently.
Yet, having awareness of what is happening outside my own little world is vital, and important for understanding how I might be able to help in whatever small way.
2. It keeps me aware of good causes.
Whether it is gathering of supplies for refugees or a lost teddy bear on the underground, Twitter lets me know how I can help those around me. Although all social media comes with its own type of negativity, there is real positivity in seeing good causes brought into focus, and becoming aware of those that might need help.
3. You can find like-minded people.
Through Twitter, I’ve been able to create a little community of people with the same interests as me. These people don’t necessarily follow me back but the fact that I can see and understand their interests has really broadened the type of authors I read, and the type of issues I engage with.
I like being switched on to what’s going on in the world of poetry or literature (my main interest) in a way that’s fast, brief and informal.
4. I’ve made friends.
While most of them remain Internet friends, or even merely Internet acquaintances, I’ve been able to make real connections with people.
In a few cases, I’ve even managed to become friends in real life with someone I started talking to on Twitter. The ability to find people with your interests and passions can really make for true friendships in the future.
5. It makes me feel like a comedy genius.
Last, but definitely not least, being active on Twitter and getting the tone exactly right, can make me feel like a true comedian.
It’s only happened once or twice, but being able to crack a joke that people respond to can be a huge confidence boost. This is true not just for comedy, but also for the general feedback I get through posting poems, photos, jokes, or worries on twitter.
There are definitely some trolls out there that can ruin the whole experience, but it is also possible to build a supportive and comforting community online, and that’s a possibility I cherish.
I may spend too long on the app, and I may post a stupid, misspelled tweets about irritants on the bus every now and then, but Twitter is still the one social media I love to hate.
If you haven’t tried it, come and follow our twitter account @aliljoy, and join in the fun.