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  • Jolene Roehlkepartain

To Tweet or Not to Tweet…That Is the Question

For the longest time, I refused to join Twitter. So much of the daily news centered around people making tweets, but a lot of the tweets sounded a lot more like squawks. (That’s why I had originally nicknamed the social-media platform “Squawker.”)

A number of my friends asked me how I could work in social media while avoiding one of the biggest social-media platforms. Ironic. I know. So in April, I joined Twitter (@BooksJolene). For the first month, the social-media platform made me dizzy. There were so many different ways to find your way on Twitter, that I initially got paralyzed.

Now, I like the social-media platform. There are great communities of people (if you intentionally seek them out), and many people have a wonderful sense of humor. Of course, you can bump into the yuck factor easily, but when that happens, I go somewhere else.

Twitter, unlike other social-media platforms, zips along at high speeds. Posts are short. Most people (86%) tweet from their mobile phones, and it’s easy to be impulsive. Angry? Tweet! Excited? Tweet. Need to say something? Tweet.

But are we tweeting too quickly without thinking through the possible consequences? Are we giving too much power to individual tweets rather than having meaningful, thoughtful conversations?

Yes, there is a place for tweets. They’re short. They’re fun. They’re great ways to connect in chit-chat. But when it comes to the countless topics we need to be having meaningful conversations about, a tweet won’t do it. A longer conversation will.

So let’s talk. Let’s discover how—together—we can find solutions to the pressing problems around us.

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