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What can you get in a mere 140 characters that changes your life or has a deep, meaningful impact? Turns out, you can get a lot.

Twitter is known for its brevity and speed. Where Facebook lets you post a photo album of your last vacation, Twitter limits you to just four images. Where Facebook lets you write a long monologue, Twitter asks you to wrap up in 140 characters. Where Facebook manages your timeline to show you the best information, Twitter is a constantly updating stream of consciousness.

It sounds limiting and it sounds overwhelming, but once you actually start using it, you realise what Twitter is and isn’t. It’s not just a social network. It’s a broadcast network, a platform for any voice in the world to be heard.

Seriously, why aren’t you using it, you luddite? We’ve tried reasoning with you to use Twitter 7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter 7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Twitter Twitter has now been with us for seven years and counting. This was seven years to the day since Jack Dorsey sent out the first tweet in 2006, at a time when the micro-blogging social... Read More , but since that hasn’t got the message through, it’s time to get serious and make you realise why Twitter is a necessity in your digital life.

Twitter Dispenses Of Social Niceties and Pressures

Why-Everyone-Needs-Twitter-In-Their-Life-facebook-pressure

Most social networks have implicit agreements. If you get a Friend Request on Facebook, you have to approve that person. If you don’t want to be friends, you can either reject it and break the social contract or leave it unattended, hanging there like the sword of Damocles. Inevitably, you meet in person and that someone asks, “Hey, I sent you a friend request on Facebook.” The hair snaps.

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Things are easier on Twitter. If someone follows you, you don’t need to “approve” them. And in the constant stream of updates and notifications, you can even honestly claim you never saw it. More importantly, you could even follow someone (which sends them a notification) and then unfollow them (for which there is no notification). Twitter makes it easy to not be connected online with people you don’t want to be, without having it become a social faux pas. And as our online and offline lives converge, that is a priceless element.

Of course, if you are that interested, you can still find out if you are being unfollowed Are You Being Unfollowed? Check With These Apps and Plugins Are You Being Unfollowed? Check With These Apps and Plugins In my opinion, one of the best things Facebook ever did was to let users "unfriend" each other without any notifications. There have been numerous examples where I’ve regretted "friending" someone, and I’ve avoided tons... Read More . But really, what’s the point?

The Coolest Celebrity Conversations Happen Here

There are a number of celebrities and important personalities actively using Twitter Top 15 Tweeting Stars & Celebrities You Really Should Follow Top 15 Tweeting Stars & Celebrities You Really Should Follow Read More . And that usually means you can check out some incredible conversations happening between them.

For instance, before the Superbowl, actors Chris Pratt and Chris Evans—both lifelong fans of the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots—took to Twitter to talk some smack and bet a visit to a charity of the winner’s choice. With a few RTs, the whole exchange spread like wildfire and was the trending topic on Twitter that day.

It’s not just the entertainment industry. Even politicians realise the importance of Twitter. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful campaign was often lauded for its expert use of social media in general, and the Prime Minister’s use of Twitter in particular. And even after taking office, he is still using it regularly, even for important events. Last year, PM Modi invited US President Barack Obama to be the first sitting President to visit India on its Republic Day celebrations. The invitation happened via Twitter:

Twitter is the #SecondScreen

The use of hashtags on Twitter came from Twitter users, not even Twitter itself. But the use of hashtags has caught on like never before, and it’s most prevalent with television and live sporting events.

Actors like Joshua Malina live-tweet during the airing of their shows. The TV show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver regularly uses Twitter to galvanise its mobile-friendly audience, like with the Jeff The Diseased Lung Cowboy campaign, titled #JeffWeCan:

Sporting events continuously flash an official hashtag. With both last year’s Soccer World Cup in Brazil and the ongoing Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, there is a lot of data to support that Twitter is indeed a “second screen” and a way to augment your world cup viewing experience.

As Twitter’s Raheel Khursheed said:

In fact, with actors, commentators, sportspersons and others using Twitter, you can quickly be left out of the conversation if you aren’t using it as a second screen.

The other upside of these hashtags is that if you aren’t interested in a topic or don’t want to hear about it, you can use the mute button to clean up your timeline When To Use The Mute Button On Twitter [Weird & Wonderful Web] When To Use The Mute Button On Twitter [Weird & Wonderful Web] Oh, how we wish a Mute button existed in real life. There may be no way to Mute someone in the offline world, but it's entirely possible online. Especially on Twitter. Read More .

Facebook is Incestuous; Twitter Expands Your Network

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Twitter’s ability to let you follow anyone and interact with them (you can send a message to anyone) makes it a better platform for networking than Facebook. Think about it, Facebook is usually a circle of people whom you already know in real life or have heard of before, and the online connection is only expanding on your existing network.

However, on Twitter, you can actually strike up a conversation with a stranger, follow them to see if he/she might be someone you can be friends with, and grow a relationship. There are also some interesting ways to find new people on Twitter 6 Interesting Ways To Find New People On Twitter 6 Interesting Ways To Find New People On Twitter Twitter, by its very nature, provides an endless supply of interesting and engaging Twitter accounts just waiting to be discovered. Here's how to find them. Read More . You can even build relationships with minor celebrities—they are real people after all.

I have cultivated friendships and relationships that started on Twitter, and know several others who have too. And this includes people halfway across the planet, those in neighbouring warring countries, as well as those who live down the block. If the point of a social network is to meet new people, hear new thoughts and build a larger network of those who can help, then Twitter is where it’s at.

The Biggest Reason to Use Twitter: You’ll Feel Left Out If You Don’t

Why-Everyone-Needs-Twitter-In-Their-Life

Twitter is big. Ask around, chances are that half the people you know are using it. And when something is that big and you aren’t part of it, you will be left out of conversations and miss out on what’s happening around you. It’s that simple.

Tell Us Your Twitter Story

What’s holding you back from using Twitter? If you’re a Twitter addict or a new Twitter user, what has made you a fan? We want to know, and we want to change minds. Let’s talk in the comments.

Image credits: Ivelin Radkov / Shutterstock, Quka / Shutterstock

  1. Rick Brant
    September 3, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Most of what you written here are all the reasons I absolutely don't care about Twitter. "Dispenses Of Social Niceties and Pressures" - exactly what an introvert does NOT want. I want more barriers between me and useless interrupts, not more.
    "In the constant stream of updates and notifications" - yes, that's the problem exactly.
    "Celebrity conversations" - who cares?
    "Second screen"? Who watches anything when it's actually "broadcast" any more? I almost never do. The few times I've tried "second screen" things the second screen is completely flooded with the most vacuous fluff I would ever go a long way to avoid. And that's when it's not flooded with hate speech of one sort or another.
    "on Twitter, you can actually strike up a conversation with a stranger". If they're a stranger, why would I be interested?
    "You’ll Feel Left Out If You Don’t". Um, I played with Twitter years ago and stopped quickly. And I don't feel a bit left out. And I don't care if you want to change my mind. Introverts are not broken, we're just different. Stop trying to fix us.

    • Rick Brant
      September 10, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Oh, and: It's absolutely adorable that you think that those "conversations between celebrities" are anything but scripted, or that that invitation to President Obama really "happened on Twitter" and not through diplomatic channels first. Man, I hope you never run into a con artist.

  2. Justin Dennis
    March 22, 2015 at 6:43 am

    *cue all the old people complaining about how twitter is destroying the world*

    real talk though, you make some great points, Mihir. took me a while to get on the twitter train, but now I love it. obviously it depends on who you follow. if you follow crap, you're only gonna see crap. But some incredible people produce and promote great stuff on twitter. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is freaking amazing on twitter! smart and hilarious!

    also, hashtag activism (everyone's favorite thing to hate on) actually legit makes changes in the world. the #dancingman campaign raised over $40,000 for anti-bullying campaigns recently, and that's just the most recent example off the top of my head. many hashtag campaigns simply serve to tell people they're not alone. #blackout was inspiring. #illridewithyou gave me hope for humanity. #blacklivesmatter and #translivesmatter brought attention to important racial- and gender-based violence. things like that tell people who are regularly discriminated against that people care about them. legit, twitter does some great stuff.

    #twitter4lyfe

    *prepares for grandparents to whip out their newspapers and yell about how my generation is destroying the social fabric of humanity with our dang-flabbed Internet-based communication*

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 23, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      So much this.

  3. paul
    March 21, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I already have plenty of stalkers, thanks.

  4. Buffet
    March 21, 2015 at 8:48 am

    I don't NEED any of that rubbish in my life!
    Why? Because I HAVE a life.

  5. HeRBaN LyRiX
    March 21, 2015 at 4:48 am

    Twitter is an ego stroker for those that don`t actually go outside & speak with people face to face, FaceBook isn`t any better......but I blame Twitter for plenty of the non-sense/ beefs that currently exist in Hip Hop......LoL

  6. Chris
    March 21, 2015 at 12:46 am

    The argument was well made but I'll have to disagree. I was at weekly get together with some friends and when I reached the end, I asked who used Twitter. Of the six of us,none of us are currently using Twitter. And we are almost all technically adept 20-somethings. I was actually expecting more of us to be using Twitter. :P

  7. Robert B
    March 21, 2015 at 12:36 am

    I am sorry but I strongly disagree with your assertion that everyone need Twitter in their lives. I am probably in the minority however because I DON'T TWEET, and I DON'T LOOK AT FACEBOOK! I do not have an account with either of them and never will. And guess what I am doing just fine thank you very much. I could care less about all the bull s@#$ that is one them and you know what I do not feel left out. The only social media site I belong to is Google+ and the only reason I have that is it makes logging onto a lot of websites like here a whole lot easier. You may think I am strange but another thing that I will never suffer from is carpel tunnel from texting on my smart phone, how impersonal can you be? Sending a text message to someone when you have a incredible device with such good audio clarity when you can really have a nice conversation with the person you just sent a text message to. I do not even agree with the argument that there are some places where making a phone call is not appropriate like while you are in a meeting at work. Well if you are in a work related meeting doing anything that takes you attention away from what is going on in the meeting is also inappropriate so just wait until your meeting is over and call the person.

    • Steven
      March 22, 2015 at 7:36 am

      I'm right there with you, Robert B! I'd Tweet it to you, but we both don't need it! :D IMHO I'm about as steeped in technology and the history thereof as one can get, but just because it is technology doesn't mean I MUST use it to find meaning in life. Feeling "left out" the biggest driver for use???? Sorry, ANYONE who acts based on that kind of peer pressure isn't mature enough to pick out their own clothes or select a meal, much less interact responsibly with whatever messages are flying about.

    • Steven
      March 22, 2015 at 7:47 am

      I'm right there with you, Robert B! I'd Tweet it to you, but we both don't need it! :D IMHO I'm about as steeped in technology and the history thereof as one can get, but just because it is technology doesn't mean I MUST use it to find meaning in life. Feeling "left out" the biggest driver for use???? Sorry, ANYONE who acts based on that kind of peer pressure isn't mature enough to pick out their own clothes or select a meal, much less interact responsibly with whatever messages are flying about.

  8. annemargaret
    March 20, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Nope, I don't like it! Facebook for me. Oh, & I have met many new friends on it

  9. Abd Noury
    March 20, 2015 at 11:36 am

    B 4 Facebook was a good place to me, but now after forcing me "like" any crab I get from the pages I follow OR I will not receive any thing from them , Facebook become annoying, I even search for the pages I use to get their feed on my page because I didn't press "lik" on their last posts, That's killing me.

  10. Just-In Case
    March 20, 2015 at 1:49 am

    I still don't get it. It's just a bunch of noise.

  11. Hildegerd
    March 19, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Twitter is good damn fun, a social and open chat.

  12. Neha Tomar
    March 19, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    For me, Twitter has become an important platform after I started following the right people from the same industry, I work in. People from all across the world working on the same thing but with a different approach.. I just find the right people, follow them, their articles and read them. It is just enhancing my knowledge and helping me learn new things without actually making an extra effort for the same.

  13. Trev
    March 19, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    May I propose that we actually... don't need Twitter in our lives. What everybody DOES need is to go on with their lives...

  14. Saurabh
    March 19, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    This ones original so pls give credit too ????
    Let me tweet it anyway haha

    • Starkeeper
      March 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      I think you wrote that backwards!
      Facebook is NEWS, Twitter is NOISE!

  15. Saurabh
    March 19, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Well, if you ask me Twitter is news and Facebook is just noise.

    But that said, another important thing that Twitter does is that it lets you analyse your own thought process over time to show you how your thought process has changed. One cant do that on Facebook because a vast majority is still consuming content on Facebook vs. creating it.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 19, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      "Twitter is news and Facebook is just noise." -- Ha, I'm going to put this on a t-shirt

  16. Stephan Huebner
    March 19, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Uhm, no, I don't feel left out by not using twitter (I have an account but haven't logged in for months and haven't used it for more than a few minutes all in all). And I haven't seen any compelling reasons in your article to change that.

    What holds me back from using twitter is that it would just add another stream of mostly useless information to an already pretty cramped up information-stream.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 19, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      If you think it's mostly useless information, you should consider pruning and being more selective in who you follow. I agree, Twitter can be a stream of noise, but efficiently using Lists and the Mute button can fix that.

    • Stephan Huebner
      March 19, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Still no compelling reason for *why* I should follow anybody. If I *don't* use twitter at all I don't even have to bother with lists or mute-buttons or whatnot. And as none of these can be perfect, I'd most probably would still be annoyed by essentially meaningless posts that just distract from important things. Again, none of the "reasons" in the article sound compelling or convincing to me.

    • Starkeeper
      March 21, 2015 at 1:51 pm

      Stephan, , you hit the nail on the head! I have a Twitter account and have gone to see it a few times. Even tweeted on it once or twice, I DONT enjoy Twitter (AT ALL) and question why others even bother! I feel if you have the time to bother with this type of media, using Facebook or even InstGram is way better than trying to make sense of this shorthand method of communicating. I'll pass, Thank You!!

  17. norweeg
    March 19, 2015 at 2:38 am

    twitter is a little overrated. It's a lot of the same shit I see elsewhere on the internet in a harder to read format. Everything worth reading is hosted elsewhere and tweeted as a shortlink. Hashtags are filled with spam and shock photos. The best of twitter is screencapped and posted elsewhere and everything else should honestly just be deleted.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 19, 2015 at 12:25 pm

      If Twitter is giving you "a lot of the same shit you see elsewhere", then you probably aren't following the right people.

  18. dragonmouth
    March 18, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    I thought you were going to give IMPORTANT reasons why we need Twitter.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 19, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Knowing what Kanye has to say IS important, dragonmouth! It's more important than what heads of states have to say. Now Imma let you finish...

    • dragonmouth
      March 19, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Kanye? Who dat?

    • floss.mate
      March 21, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      hear hear, I don't care what sports idiots are disfiguring each other and I really don't care what celebrities have to say

    • floss.mate
      March 21, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      I used Twitter for a while at first, and didn't find it that exciting, then one day, unbidden, it was updated and it was harder to use. Now I feel like I'm looking at a bunch of gobbledegook that I have to decode to understand. And I have to wonder why is it that people can't just live, why do they have to be interacting with their phones and with people who aren't with them all the time. It's a compulsion, and it's really rude.

  19. Matthew Hughes
    March 18, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    > Of course, if you are that interested, you can still find out if you are being unfollowed. But really, what’s the point?

    Confession: I check who unfollowed me on a weekly basis. Yes, I know Twitter follows are meaningless. No, I don't know why I do it.

    • Mihir Patkar
      March 18, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      YOU MAKE ME SAD, MATTHEW HUGHES!

      (Seriously though, I don't know what it is about our human need to know who is hanging on to the words we say, but there's something about desperately wanting to know that, right?)

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