People who don’t have Twitter always say the same thing: “I don’t care what everyone is doing every second of the day.” I’m here to tell you that’s not what Twitter is really about. People don’t actually announce what they’re doing every minute of the day, because no one really cares.

So what exactly is Twitter? Twitter is a social media site which allows you to quickly communicate with others more often than you would on Facebook.

There is a constant newsfeed of people “tweeting,” but it’s not just about what they’re doing. Twitter is Facebook in its rawest form. If you condensed Facebook down to its simplest elements, you would have Twitter. Facebook statuses are more about getting likes and less about actually delivering meaningful content, which is where Twitter seems to be heading.

I also feel more restrained on Facebook; if I swear or use inappropriate language I’m worried about my mom or uncle scolding me for dropping an F bomb. On Twitter, it’s much more acceptable to update your thoughts more than once a day and to drop an occasional F bomb.

Because Twitter is updated constantly, you can get news and updates ASAP. A news story takes awhile to develop and write, but if it is breaking news, it will show up on Twitter first, followed soon by a link to the story.

Twitter gives you a chance to interact with celebrities, authors, athletes, politicians, networks, corporations, etc. Well over 75 percent of federal legislators are on Twitter, as well as a majority of professional athletes, especially basketball and football players.

The great thing about Twitter is that you can follow people who have the same interests as you. If you don’t want to follow that weird girl who loves cats and sat behind you in French class, she’s not going to be mad that you’re not “following” her on Twitter.

The more interesting people you follow, the more you will like Twitter.

Tweets are short; you only have 140 characters per tweet. Unlike Facebook where you have to read that entire dramatic quote someone posted about their ex, Twitter gets to the point faster.

What are those stupid “#s?” Those are hashtags. They are used when you want to sarcastically say something without actually saying it (at least that’s how I use them). Hashtags become links to whatever you typed in, and can connect you to others who feel the same way about something.

While Facebook’s 800 million users dwarf Twitters 100 million users, it’s no doubt that Twitter also continues to grow in popularity as quickly, if not quicker, than Facebook.

Though Twitter has come under fire recently for it’s decision to start censoring tweets in specific countries, there is no denying past impacts it has had politically. Many credit Twitter and other social networks with helping fuel Western support for the Arab Spring last year.

While I’m not advocating dropping Facebook, Twitter is a lot cooler than you may think.


      Elizabeth Martino can be contacted at


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