Ollie Evans, @dietjustice, is the founder of Diet Justice, a popular online community originally launched as a blog for law students. It has since grown into a justice blog writing on a diverse range of topics with content  written by a mixture of guest bloggers and Ollie himself.

 


Why i tweet

When thinking about this blog post i had the pleasure of taking a trip down memory lane. I have carefully documented my highs and lows as a blogger in a series of, to date, 30 blog posts under the title “hurdles”. So i am in quite a lucky position in being able to identify how i came to discover twitter.

When i started blogging in Feb 2011 i was all about Facebook. Obviously i had heard about twitter, but didn’t understand it and nothing about it appealed to me. Someone, and i wish i could remember who, asked me if i was on twitter. I said no. This person gave me a crash course in twitter, and i set off to investigate this new world.

At that time i couldn’t have answered the question ‘why do i tweet’. If pushed, my answer would have probably been ‘because everyone else is doing it’, which demonstrates how vulnerable to peer pressure i can sometimes be!

It didn’t take me very long, however, to realise how great twitter was. Looking back i can identify 3 motivations for maintaining a fairly consistent twitter presence.

Three reasons to tweet

The first is selfish. I was looking at ways to share my new blog with the world. Twitter is so much more efficient than Facebook, arguably because it lacks a lot of the privacy features that Facebook has. A Facebook ‘like’ when compared to a twitter ‘retweet’ makes Facebook look a little like the technological equivalent of Social Anxiety Disorder. Although i do like Facebook, if you want to get a message out there you will find twitter much more rewarding.

This leads on to my second reason. Having been on Facebook for a number of years i was well versed in its benefits and its limitations. I was ‘friends’ with people who i knew, and occasionally i would meet a friend of a friend through Facebook.

Twitter, on the other hand, lends itself superbly to meeting new people. Individuals that were once distant figures, such as politicians, are now easily accessible via twitter. On the whole they manage their twitter accounts themselves, which means you can easily speak to them directly. This applies to many other areas of society including police officers, celebrities (if you like that sort of thing) and, my favourite, academics.

My interest is in policing and law. In the 2 years that i have been on twitter i have met some amazing people who share similar interests to me. My views and opinions have matured and flourished thanks to the great debates i have had with these people. This is my 3rd reason. Twitter stimulates me, it challenges my attitudes, and as a result i learn how to have a grown up debate with individuals whose opinions differ to mine.

Twitter has grown up

Twitter is no longer the petulant teenager of the social media world, it has grown to be the elder statesman. It has become a network that, if used properly, can add great value to society. It shows people for who they really are, for better or worse, and in my opinion overshadows Facebook which i think has little to offer us in the future.

 

This is the 41st  post in the criminal justice/legal Why I tweet series. Read the others here.

 

Check out Russell’s half day courses on Tweeting for work/business:

Twitter for beginners

Taking your tweeting to the next level

 

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