To Tweet or not to tweet? (Twitter Activity Thread)

To be quite honest, I never really understood the purpose of Twitter and actually thought it to be ridiculous. This is because the people I know who use Twitter only use it for mundane updates about their life—getting coffee, watching a TV show, etc. I thought that everyone used Twitter for these purposes and honestly couldn’t believe that people would take the time to give status updates that no one really cares about. However, now that I have explored it a bit more, I see that Twitter does actually have some redeeming qualities—although I’m not quite sold 100%. Perhaps my views will change as I experiment some more.

Twitter makes sense in my personal life for keeping in contact with close family and friends that I do not have the opportunity to call as much as I would like. It is also an interesting way to connect with people who share the same interests/hobbies as myself. I might use it to connect with dog lovers, as my husband and I want to get a dog in the next 2 years. I could find out more personalized information about dog breeds/behaviors as well as read about the little moments that truly reflect the joy of having a pet. I could also use it to connect to others who are interested in cooking—to share links to recipes, techniques, advice, etc. In terms of my professional life, I would use Twitter to collaborate with other English teachers. It is often hard to see what other English 9 teachers are doing, so Twitter might be a great platform to trade ideas. Aside from just English collaboration, I am sure there are many other educators who simply want to share great tools for the classroom, regardless of subject area. The only way I can think of using Twitter with students is for them to take surveys—reviewing how hard they thought an assignment was, or mid-year reflections on what they enjoyed/what they thought was the most difficult. This can give me feedback for ways to tailor my lessons for upcoming classes.

Twitter Etiquette:

I found the Beginners Guide to Getting the Most Out of Twitter to be the most helpful source on understanding Twitter and its etiquette. The blog is very easy to understand, which prompted me to read several other of the author’s entries regarding Twitter. It appears that the number one rule would be to avoid spam at all costs—just as we are frustrated with spam emails, the Twitter community does not appreciate a user sending spam. From my readings I also found that auto-DM’s are thought to be impersonal and cold. This ties into the fact that it is considered courteous to interact with those who follow you, in order to truly build a better relationship. The piece of information that stuck with me most was that one should tweet about what they are doing on an occasional basis—Twitter should instead be used to generate conversation about articles/topics that are of interest to you. This directly goes against what I assumed Twitter was all about—which I was glad to hear. Lastly, giving credit when it is due seems like another standard to follow when Tweeting. If you find a quote or link from another user, be sure to post their name if you forward the information. Overall, the etiquette of Twitter seems fairly common sense- it is a place to exchange ideas and information, while meeting some interesting people along the way.

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