Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Top 10 Benefits of Being on Twitter

So,  maybe you've just joined Twitter and can't for the life of you figure out what all the buzz is about. You sit there, tweet a few gems from your endless goldmine of resources and no one replies. You try the "RT"(retweet) when something looks worth passing on, and still, not many folks have anything to say to you.  As in all "relationships" whether online or in life, Twitter takes time, and if you give it that time, it will surprise you with the depth of the relationships and dialogue you will develop. If you feel the same, please comment in the comment section. If you're still a bit baffled, please read the reasons below and see if any resonate with you.

 Here are my "top 10" benefits of being on Twitter, from me @flourishingkids.

1) A global connection: Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think I would be making close friendships across the globe, from the wonderful folks all over the US and in Canada to the inspiring educators I talk to in Europe and Australia.

2) Affirmation of the hard work of being a passionate educator: I don't know about you, but when I am the lone die-hard at my school site, who cares more about the kids than leaving when the bell rings, it's comforting to know that others are equally committed, even if I have to go online to talk to them!

3) Connecting to higher education: Not only can I talk with elementary and high school teachers and administrators, I can learn from professors and researchers doing current work in my areas of interest. It's thrilling to connect with psychologists and other professionals whose work I admire.

4) A place to share writing: Writing has become a passion of mine, and as my PLN ( Professional Learning Network) grows, my confidence grows. I am no longer shy about sharing my blog posts. I look forward to critical feedback and sharing.

5) A place to think critically: I don't just follow people I agree with all the time. I take the opportunity to reflect when I have an averse reaction to a tweet or blog post. As a "sometimes scientific" thinker, I often get annoyed when bloggers post with the utmost certainty when they are really just giving opinions without backing up or citing their resources.

6) A place to make connections for the future: Not only did I meet up with the wonderful @peoplegogy, who invited me to guest-blog here and his wonderful wife @elle_spanish, but I have met so many inspiring professionals who one day I hope to work with in some capacity.

7) Twitter makes me laugh: From the inane tweets about people wearing things they have no business wearing, to the cute pics of kids and the adorable things they say, I am entertained and uplifted by the humorous tidbits people share. Laughter is an amazingly under-appreciated resource.

8) A place and time to hope: Contrary to what many "non-believers" may say, Twitter is not about the superficial, at least not in the company I keep. The folks I follow and dialogue with are truly concerned with making a difference, living a meaningful life, and giving back to society.

9) Twitter lets me help others: I know what you may be thinking. Help others? Why would I want to take the time to give advice, etc? For me, reaching out to someone asking for help online is a gratifying, renewing gift that I give myself.

10) It makes me want to be a better person: Learning about all of the wonderful, inspiring work others are doing to create change in the world makes me want to play my best game, each and every day.

So, now that you've listened to me ramble on, please share! What are your reasons for being on Twitter?


  1. Joan,

    Thanks for the compliment. It has been a pleasure getting to know you. And I am always inspired by your passion for teaching.

  2. I like how twitter keeps me remembering that i live in a big world. my issues are connected to other issues in lots of places outside of my circle.

  3. A very inspiring post!

    I wrote about social media here:
    The past few months, I've started to appreciate twitter more and more. Since I am part of a relatively small research group, I feel the need to connect with other PhD students, share writing and planning advice and discuss the ups and downs along the way.

  4. Eva,

    Thanks for posting a comment. Twitter is the main reason why I have a blog. Yep. I saw so may many phenom blogs from the people I follow that I had to start my own. It took me a while to find my voice. But, now that I have look out. Amazing things are coming in the near future.

  5. Your post made me reevaluate the different tweets that I encounter every day. As for me, I love the sense of fulfillment that I get whenever I join a hashtag brigade to make the world recognize our advocacy. Thanks to twitter, I get to experience acceptance and acknowledgment.

    Sage Aumick