I have never been a proponent of Twitter, and only created an account under extreme duress from my professor. Okay, so maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but I really could care less about having a Twitter account. So when I read our assignment to tweet at least once a day this week I sort of rolled my eyes. In all honesty, I was more concerned over the fact that I was going to have to ask someone what the heck a hashtag was and I didn’t want to humble myself and admit I had no clue about something in which the typical 12 year old is well versed. After throwing a mini tantrum and calling Tammy to lament the assignment, I decided to suck it up and figure some things out once and for all. I successfully tweeted about some reading my American Literature kids were doing and even tweeted a couple of things about some day to day stuff in my own life. I did end up calling a friend to ask about the hashtag as well as some other features of Twitter, and felt better when she told me that she had to call another friend of hers to ask the same questions. I guess maybe we’ve all been there, the place where we are new to something and have to take a deep breath and ask questions. Perhaps it was a good reminder that my students probably feel this same way on a regular basis in my class.
After getting my feet wet with the basics, I tried to expand my knowledge base a bit. I clicked on other people’s tweets, I followed new people, I read previous discussions, and started to feel better about the whole process. I even decided that I would take matters into my own hands and figure out the elusive bit.ly process. I quickly searched it on YouTube and in less than 5 minutes I posted my own link with a shortened url. I even have to admit that I found it somewhat amusing to write my own, creative hashtags, though I didn’t allow myself to go overboard with it because that would be admitting that I enjoy Twitter too much. Afterall, I can’t keep up with both Facebook AND Twitter, can I? When would I have time for things like activities with my children, reading a good book, or crashing on the couch for hours watching mindless TV?
I do see some merit in Twitter in regards to the professional realm. Following others in your field gives you quick and easy access to links, articles, or videos that could be helpful to you in your job and can further your knowledge base. I like the idea of professional connections, but I still don’t have much of an interest in what you ate for lunch. And you probably don’t care about the cute things my children do.
But maybe I have been sucked in already. I found myself installing the Twitter app on my phone yesterday, and I even checked it at school this morning. Really? Who am I?! My aversion to Twitter was primarily because I didn’t want another mindless activity to eat up my time. But maybe if I can stay focused on the professional connections Twitter allows I can make an exception. Afterall, now that I have it on my phone I can multitask by checking Twitter while I watch my daughter play softball. Isn’t that what every good mom does these days?