Why Give a Hoot? Or, 4 Reasons to Tweet (by Cassandra Frear)

Today’s guest blogger is another friend I connected with on Twitter, made my way to her blog, and found yet another wonderful writer as well as a great encourager.

Cassandra Frear has homeschooled her sons through high school, led three grassroots ministries for families, taught seminars, and served as a teacher, speaker, and lay counselor. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and living to tell about it all. You can find her at her blog, The Moonboat Cafe.

The first thing you should know is that Katdish did not ask me to write about this topic. She’s not responsible for anything I say here. Instead, she told me to write about whatever comes to mind. And that’s where the trouble started.

This post has been brewing for some time. Now that it’s espresso strength, I’m serving it up. Consider it your first cup of the day. As in,”Wake up, people!” But I will try not to be rude. After all, I can’t break one of my Cardinal Rules for Social Media in a blog post on Twitter. I will be nice.

This all started when I was online one afternoon and several tweets about things which should not be mentioned in public passed before my eyes on my PC screen. I thought to myself, “What am I doing here? How can I justify reading this?” Past comments from friends and family came streaming into my thoughts.

“What is it with Twitter? What’s the big deal?”

“I just don’t get the Twitter thing. Why are you doing it?”

“I’m not going to chat with people through short messages. That’s not a conversation! ”

“Boy, you must have a lot of extra time on your hands!”

Then, my all-time favorite: silent laughter, guffaws, chuckles, sideways glances, and smirks. Really? Am I serious?

Ahem. Yes.

Why I Give A Hoot

Here’s why I do Twitter. I’m betting this is why you do it, too. Mostly.

1.Information: My husband, a news editor, has recently set up a Twitter account. He’s amazed at the volume of immediate and succint information coming through the Tweet pike. He has his finger on the pulse of the world. He’s organized his sources, so he can select the kind of data he wants. In minutes, he can skim and know if there is anything he should pay close attention to. It’s better, far better, than the evening news. This is just one example of what Twitter does best — it carries information rapidly and efficiently.

2.Inspiration: More than once, I’ve gotten a needed lift from a tweet on Twitter. At just the right time, there is an image or a quote which encourages me and restores my perspective. I know it seems odd that I could find this at 140 characters a pop. But it happens to me several times a week. God can use anything, even a tweet.

3.Interaction: I’ve gotten to know many writers and wonderful people on Twitter whom I would not have met otherwise. Before joining, I wondered how in the world this could happen with short tweets. But it does. I think we get to know each other better sometimes when other distractions are not in the way. We can see the soul behind the setting when all is pared back to a few words. And it’s not the words themselves — it’s the way the person reacts that tells me who they are.

I’ve prayed for people in crisis on Twitter, pointed them to helpful books, shared recipes, sent encouraging notes, and learned lessons on writing from them. It’s a virtual community. Amazing, isn’t it?

4.Innovation: I ‘ve noticed a recent trend. Some of us are beginning to use Twitter to create, to come up with new concepts, and to build a whole new vocabulary. Tweeters co-write things on Twitter, brainstorm for ideas, and solve problems together. You can tweet about your issues in North Dakota and in a few minutes hear from someone in Ireland who had the same problem and found a great solution. Twitter can be faster than a phone call to a customer service representative and ten times more effective.

As I said, it’s a community. But one without walls or time constraints. And it’s one worth belonging to.

Are you on Twitter? How has it helped you? If you’re not on yet, do you think you might be interested?

To read more from Cassandra Frear, visit her at her blog Moonboat Cafe and follow her on twitter at @CassandraFrear.

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