(The following excerpt from Why I Was Wrong About Twitter by Adam Grand, Ph.D., recently appeared on psychology today.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
One year ago, I sat down with my publisher for a conversation that I was dreading. I had finished writing my first book, and it was time to discuss my (nonexistent) presence on social media. When Twitter came up, I was prepared with a list of objections:
1. It’s Too Short
2. It’s Too Self-Absorbed
3. It Encourages Self-Deception
4. It’s Just Another Fad
One by one, Viking’s publicity experts shot down my arguments. I could make my tweets meaningful by posting links and pithy quotes. It was up to me to make sure they weren’t all navel-gazing—there’s a difference between promoting yourself and promoting your ideas—and I could easily choose not to share anything that I didn’t want the world to see. It would only take me a few minutes a day, and I could decide who to follow. Oh yeah, and if it weren’t for Twitter, Egypt might not have seen a democratic revolution. It looks like this technology is here to stay.
Admitting defeat, I was dragged onto Twitter kicking and screaming. I thought it was a necessary evil. And I was wrong. In the past year, I’ve grown fond of Twitter. It might be partially due to cognitive dissonance—see the enlightening book Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. But it’s also due to six benefits that no one mentioned:
1. Sharing without Spamming
2. Record Keeping
3. Promoting and Recognizing Other People
4. Tailored News
6. Serendipitous Debates
So fellow Luddites: if you’re not already on Twitter, give it a try.