As of this month, I’ve officially been on Twitter for five WHOLE years. As of writing this post, I have written more than 23,000 tweets. (Whoa, I know what you are probably thinking, that’s a lot of tweets.) To say, the last five years have been filled with ups and downs would be a major understatement.
Little did I know when I signed up for Twitter, that this site would have such a huge impact on my life. I have landed jobs from Twitter, met awesome business contacts and made some lifelong, amazing friends from initial conversations on this site. While it’s pretty much impossible to sum up all the things I have learned in the last five years, here’s five main lessons I have learned from five years on Twitter.
1. Brevity is an art form.
When you only have 140 characters to get your point across, it really makes you think (consciously and subconsciously) about how to get to the main point of your message faster. As crazy as it may sound, the brevity of tweets has definitely made me a better writer.
2. You can form real connections from conversations started in 140 characters.
I am living proof that you can make real friendships from conversations that originated on Twitter. You just have to know (and make a conscious effort) when to take those conversations offline and into real life.
3. Twitter can be the best icebreaker for introverts like myself.
Maybe it’s the inner introvert in me, but I hate going to networking events with a passion. The whole idea of meandering a room of hundreds of strangers for a few hours is enough to send me into a crippling spiral of social anxiety and awkwardness. Twitter has helped me overcome a lot of that. I’ve used Twitter to find and connect with people before just about any event or conference. It’s an instant comfort to know you have at least a few people that you have at least connected with beforehand.
Note: I even wrote a whole guest post on this very topic on PR Breakfast Club. Check it out here.
4. How powerful (and addicting) Twitter chats can be.
I got hooked on Twitter after I discovered Sarah Evans’ #journchat back in mid-2009. I then stumbled upon more and more of these Twitter chats like #pr20chat, #u30pro and #cmgrchat. I’ve even started and ran a quite a few, very successful Twitter chats myself (both professionally and personally).
Twitter chats are an amazing way to have a conversation on just about any topic with other like-minded folks. If I don’t say so myself, they can be super addicting.
5. It’s possible to portray your true authentic self in 140 characters.
I truly believe that for all the fakes and frauds that are trying to portray themselves as something they are not, there are five other people who are portraying their 100% real and authentic selves on Twitter. You just have to use your spidey senses to uncover the authentic ones from the asshats.
What lessons have you learned from being on Twitter? Please share in the comment section below.