I have found that Twitter has allowed me to come into contact with a slew of great individuals. Like-minded people, with a similar but unique look at the interests we share. While the replies I received were quite diverse, there was a consistent flavor: Twitter is what you make of it. If following celebrities and catching up on the latest trending topic are your things, have fun. Some tweet a stream of consciousness; others simply read tweets without saying much themselves. Most are in-between. There is no wrong way to tweet. (Sorry Rovell)
Everyone who responded to the inquiry had met someone personally that they had not been acquainted with prior to joining Twitter. Social media at its core. In more ways than not, Tom Friedman is a clown, but he was certainly right when he said "The World Is Flat." Technology has allowed the world to shrink, and for interactions with one another to become more readily accessible.
Twitter has a near monopoly on my social media intake. I have two personal accounts (one for sports; one for news/politics/theology), two accounts for the blogs I write for, and a parody account. I use each account for differing reasons. Each account has a personality of its own. And my follower/following list on each of these accounts allow me to see Twitter with greater vision.
My use of twitter has changed dramatically over time. I am less conscious of what others think of me or my ideas. Don't take anything personally. It's just Twitter. The worst thing you can do, in my opinion, is worry about how others will react. This isn't to say that one should become belligerent or over-bearing online. No one likes that guy. I simply found that Twitter became more fun when I stopped worrying about 'who' followed me, or 'how many' followers I had. Just tweet and enjoy the ride.
The responses I received were quite informative. I'll simply post the salient ones below. Thanks again for the replies!
What avenues have been opened to you through interaction on Twitter?
What friendships have you garnered?
How has your experience changed over time?
Leave it to Matt Zemek to find a way to make 140 characters sing with beauty and brevity!
Same with you, Mr. Green. Are you a Medill Grad student? One of the smartest men I know.
From personal experience, I can say that my professional life has been greatly helped through the interactions and networking I have found through Twitter.
How true this is! I become acquainted with @BrendanLoy this way. I made a comment denigrating Craig Thompson and he retorted with something anti-BYU. Great friendship ensued!
A not-as-crazy-as-a-messageboard crowd where anyone feels like they can express opinion. Amen.