Social networking Web sites have often been seen as a useless tool to occupy one’s downtime. Facebook and Myspace, being the current leading social networks, keep users in contact with their friends and family and has been used as a means to broadcast oneself for the world to see.
Twitter, despite serving a similar purpose as the other social networks previously listed, has a much more in-depth use. This Web site, which can be accessed both from a computer and smartphone, consists of all updates and statuses of its users, giving them the opportunity to let the world read them and how they think.
The question ‘What are you doing?’ is asked every time one goes to update their status on Twitter. It is both a simple and complex question. Users get the opportunity to express, in 140 characters or less, what it is that they are feeling, doing, not doing and the list goes on. It’s almost like one is letting the world know that they do exist.’
Twitter is almost therapeutic in a way, giving a voice to voiceless people. Through ‘tweeting,’ users get the opportunity to express their thoughts throughout the day, as well as get certain things off their chest they might not feel comfortable expressing verbally. Users also ask for advice on personal situations and other users get the opportunity to help them by replying to their posts. It, in a sense, eliminates the need to hire a psychiatrist, as the Twitter community can serve as anything from therapist all the way to just being someone to ‘listen’ to your’ problems.
Outside of the therapeutic value of Twitter, users can also use it to promote themselves. Musicians, artists, and even news publications use the site to update their ‘followers’ on what’s going on in their world. Musicians can and do use the site to let their followers know of new music to look out for, up coming concerts and even what’s going on in their life, making them much more relatable to fans. News publications use the site to give updates on new stories and even to survey the public on what they would like to see. It’s almost like a personal promoter that you don’t have to pay for.
All in all, Twitter is a valuable life tool. From problem solver to self promoter, it fits the needs of each of its users in different ways and as the user community grows, so will the uses of the site.